Myrtle Beach neighbors prepare for Hurricane Irma

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – As Hurricane Irma moves closer to the U.S., Myrtle Beach residents are preparing ahead of time for the unknown.

The Lowe’s Home Improvement store off of the 17 Bypass in Myrtle Beach was full of neighbors purchasing generators and other storm supplies, having learned their lesson from Hurricane Matthew.

“You have a little bigger generator? I’m looking for a 7,000 watt,” questions Myrtle Beach resident Bill Everard who’s planning for the worst of what Irma can potentially bring to the Carolinas.

“We’ve definitely seen a lot of foot traffic of people getting ready for the storm,” describes Lowe’s manager Tim San Angelo. “Seems like they’re preparing earlier this go round.”

Everard says Hurricane Matthew knocked out his power and for this hurricane, he plans for his home to be better equipped.

“Three days without power, and it could be longer. That’s a long time,” explains Everard.

Other Myrtle Beach neighbors agree, saying they hope to avoid losing a refrigerator full of food again this year.

“Last year, we lost power for five days. Lost the refrigerator,” recalls Kevin Simpson and Valerie Vigorita. “We weren’t prepared as well as we’re going to be.”

While Irma’s track isn’t yet clear when it comes to South Carolina, it’s never too early to start preparing.

First on the list: water. You’ll need a flashlight, extra batteries, and maybe even a gas can. As the hurricane advances, be prepared to cover your windows with plywood if needed.

Not everyone in Myrtle Beach is convinced Irma’s impact will be as powerful as her wind speed.

“It’s no big deal,” scoffs Robert Kudlak. “I’m not chicken. I’ll ride it out. I have home insurance. That’s what it’s for.”

The City of Myrtle Beach says while we may not know Irma’s direct path at this time, it’s better to be prepared and not need the extra supplies.

“Now is the time to prepare. It’s a very large, very strong storm. The track is not yet certain, so do pay close attention to the weather over the next few days,” advises Myrtle Beach City Spokesperson Mark Kruea.