I had this post all mapped out in my head as I drove to Folly Beach from West Ashley this morning. Since public safety is allowing only residents on the island, I have the beach to myself, more or less. I drove to the Washout, Folly Beach’s premiere surf break, ready to write about the awesome swell and how twenty years ago I would have been right there with those well-warned surfers, struggling to paddle outside of the break, and once I’d made it, how I’d be eager to catch one of those monsters, hoping to make the drop and achieve stokification or, perhaps more likely, to suffer a crushing avalanche-like wipe out.
I was going to complain that now I was too old to even try, reduced to getting my thrills vicariously, like the old man in The Big Sleep. (I suspect that William Faulkner, who received partial credit for the screenplay, wrote this part).
The problem is here is the Washout on Day 4 of Governor Henry McMaster’s mandatory evacuation. It’s as flat as a John Brown’s EKG.*
On Monday afternoon, declaring that even one life was too precious to lose, Governor McMaster, who refuses federal Medicaid money, ordered a mandatory evacuation of the South Carolina coast.* Drop everything, close your businesses, find refuge with loved ones or at Motel 6 inland (which doesn’t sound all that safe to me).
And for the third year in a row the mandatory evacuation was completely unnecessary for Folly Beach. Four school days down the drain. Millions of dollars squandered.
A legitimate fear is that when a real storm comes a-callin’ some of the population might be too jaded to take warnings seriously. I’m all for evacuating for deadly storms but not when they’re a week away and their paths uncertain.
*”John Brown’s body”, of course, “lies a-mouldering in the grave.”