Myrtle Beach resident recalls Hurricane Hazel, Hugo

Survivor remembers Hurricane Hazel, Hugo

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach is a young city that has seen a boom in growth and population in its 75 year lifetime.

Interestingly enough, those booms were brought about by two of the Grand Strand's most infamous hurricanes - Hazel and Hugo.

There aren't many residents here who've been around long enough to see both storms blow through. But Meteorologist Jamie Arnold had the chance to sit down with a lady who did just that.

Hurricane Hazel made landfall in 1954. Survivor Dorothy McDonald said, "We had an idea something was going on."

"Tell your neighbors not to take their children to school. We got in the car. The water was already over the boulevard. The trees were touching the ground. You could see the wind whirling. The houses were toppled over . The whole house was gone but everything was sitting on the mantle, hadn't been touched," Dorothy recalled.

Dorothy witnessed the destruction Hurricane Hazel left behind and the rebirth that followed.

When Hurricane Hugo struck in 1989, "That was when Myrtle Beach changed. They told us there was a storm coming. I battened everything down. They came and said if you're not leaving we need your name and next of kin."

"We did the wrong thing and went to Charlotte. They stopped everything on 501 at the bridge and you had to prove that you were a resident before they would let you in," Dorothy claimed.

Dorothy said she would offer this advice to new residents in the Grand Strand, especially those who would consider sticking around during a hurricane evacuation. "Get out of town and go - don't stay."

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