HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Following Hurricane Matthew's significant impacts on Myrtle Beach, the city is focusing on the recovery effort.
According to a news release, the Chamber of Commerce's Oak Street office has reopened after transitioning to a remote call center during the evacuation, handling calls from displaced residents, past visitors and visitors planning to travel to the area in coming weeks.
"From the time we knew Hurricane Matthew was headed our way, our concern was for the safety and well-being of residents and visitors," said Brad Dean, president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. "This storm hit the Myrtle Beach area hard, yet we can be thankful that the impact could have been much worse."
Erosion from the hurricane is a concern for the Chamber, as beach re-nourishment is a pivotal part of recovery.
"We were up for re-nourishment anyway," Dean said. "The combination of hurricane force winds, heavy rains and high tide has left so much damage that re-nourishment is more critical than ever."
Another focus is resuming tourism. In order to stimulate the tourism economy, a post-storm advertising and social media campaign is ready to go, funded by the Chamber and the Area Recovery Cooperative.
"We're prepared to assist local businesses in re-opening and re-starting our tourism economy, once it's safe for everyone to return," Dean said. "For us, recovery doesn't stop until every employee is back at work and every business has an "open for business" sign in their window."
To donate to the "Help the Grand Strand" disaster fund to benefit Horry and Georgetown counties, follow these instructions:
- Mail a check - Make your check payable to Waccamaw Community Foundation. In the memo line of your check, specify Hurricane Matthew Relief Fund. Mail to:
Waccamaw Community Foundation
3655 S. Highway 17 Business
Murrells Inlet, SC 29896+76
- Pay by phone - Call 1-800-356-3016. Beginning 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 10, 2016, operators will be happy to assist you in processing a credit card payment.
- Pay Online - Click here to process your payment online. Please specify Hurricane Matthew Relief Fund.
"The Grand Strand is a resilient destination," said Dean. "We believe our recovery efforts will be vigorous and cooperative. We're confident we will be back in business sooner than many realize."
For more information and updates, call 843-626-7444 or go to Visit MyrtleBeach.com and MyrtleBeachAreaChamber.com.