Residents react to damage, hope power comes back soon

Residents react to damage, hope power comes back soon

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Many neighborhoods throughout South Carolina were left in the dark Saturday as Hurricane Matthew roared through.  As many as more than two hundred thousand people are still without power, and left to clean-up the pieces left behind by the hurricane.

Driving around the Grand Strand and Pee Dee, WMBF News reporters have met many of you who have shared your stories.  Neighbors on Little River Road in Myrtle Beach shared theirs with WMBF News morning reporter Meredith Helline.

"Just a big, crashing like a plane crash almost...the way the trees hit the Earth like that," Carlton Stegall recalled about how the trees sounded when they fell over homes and yards in his Myrtle Beach neighborhood.

Little River Rd. is surrounded by tall trees, many now on the ground and on top of power lines.  Stegall and neighbors said electrical workers told them power should be on around midnight Monday morning.  However, they're still in the dark.  Stegall said the hurricane force winds were the worst he's ever witnessed here.

"Maybe a few downed limbs or so over the other hurricanes we've had over the last ten or 15 years...but really nothing like this, and I've actually seen hurricanes with more wind than this that did less damage," Stegall said.

His neighbors agree.  "It's pretty bad all the way around, pretty bad it all this area.  We got hit pretty hard," Stegall's neighbor, Bob Cocker, said.

Like many people, Stegall thought it was safe when the winds and rain slowed down around noon Saturday.  He left his home to get his elderly neighbor's mail, but he and another neighbor had a brush with death instead when two trees plowed through the front of the elderly woman's home.

Another later fell in her backyard, knocking out a corner of her home.  Stegall, Cocker and other neighbors are worried about when the woman who owns this home returns. She's known to keep the prettiest yard in the neighborhood.

"But she's 86 years old I think. So she's going to be a little upset about it being as torn up but luckily it didn't get her car or house or anything so I feel blessed. I think we're all blessed," Cocker said.

All said until power is on, they have plenty of charcoal for the grill and chainsaws to help local clean-up crews get a head start on the removal of the ginormous downed trees.

Santee Cooper said on their website they hope to have all customer power back by Friday.  Other power companies are estimating one to two weeks.

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