‘Sad seeing the pier’: Cherry Grove community picks up the pieces after pier, community damaged by Ian

Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 6:03 AM EDT
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NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The people in the Cherry Grove community are taking the clean-up process one day at a time after Hurricane Ian wreaked havoc along the Grand Strand coast.

City crews in North Myrtle Beach have spent the weekend cleaning up sand, pieces of wood and even sand dune vegetation from the roads. Due to the amount of damage and clean-up, North Ocean Boulevard was partially closed in some areas.

City crews told WMBF news crews that it could take a few more days to clean up all the debris.

Meanwhile, some families are dealing with damage done to their homes, including the Bullard family whose home was hit by the storm’s powerful surge.

“We walked around the back of the house and we saw the water line and we were like ‘Oh no,’ so we went inside of the house as fast as we could and we saw it come up about two and a half feet to the house,” said Phai Bullard.

The family took out furniture, cabinets and kitchen drawers to dry outside the garage. Thousands of dollars could be lost due to the flooding, so the Bullard family is doing everything they can to salvage what they have left.

“If we know that it was going to be this bad we would have planned ahead sooner,” said Bullard.

Houses and hotels weren’t the only things that were damaged by the hurricane. A huge chunk of the iconic Cherry Grove Pier was swept away.

“You could hear popping and cracking. The boards were making sounds of that nature. We had water coming up right outside our doors. They were splashing up through the deck boards,” said the manager of pier operations at the Cherry Grove Pier, Edgar Stephens.

“It’s so sad seeing the pier the way it is. That has been there for so long,” said Bullard.

The pier is a beloved part of the Cherry Grove community. It was built in the early 1950s and was remodeled and lengthened in 1999 after Hurricane Floyd.

After losing a part of what was precious to Cherry Grove, Stephens was shocked to see the support of the community.

“We had an outpouring of prayers. Love is being shown to us right now. It’s been very touching. This pier is a staple for this community up here in the north end of the beach,” said Stephens.

On Sunday, North Myrtle Beach city leaders met with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to survey the damage done to the beaches by Hurricane Ian.

There are currently no plans for when repairs will begin in the Cherry Grove area.