Tourism, golf courses impacted greatly following Hurricane Florence

Posted at 10:56 AM, Sep 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-15 12:56:18-04

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    MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WFSB) — Many in our state love vacationing down south. Tourism is a billion-dollar industry in South Carolina with more than 3 million going there just to golf.

Right now, popular country clubs are getting crushed by Hurricane Florence.

The sad reality is that the place you may love to vacation may be out of commission for months.

“The courses are definitely going to be flooded and we have no idea when they’ll be back up, it could be a month, two months, two weeks,” said Jack Gelhaus.

Jack Gelhaus is a PGA Management Major at Coastal Carolina University.

The Woodstock native is back home as Florence forced him and thousands of students to evacuate, but when he returns, his foresees his classroom and the golf course, will be badly damaged.

“Last year, they had a category one storm and they were out for a good month,” said Gelhaus.

It’s the rain and wind in Myrtle Beach that are creating dangerous flooding conditions.

Gelhaus says the Coastal Carolina’s campus, 10 minutes away from Myrtle Beach, is already seeing flooding on the first floors of dorms.

“The rain is going to be the killer. I don’t know what the school is going to do with the flooding,” said Gelhaus.

While there’s no telling when campus will reopen, the golf enthusiast says he plans on using the destruction seen around the city and on the course, as a good, first hand learning experience.

“Literally, everything you can think of we’ll be learning about it. So, to see what they do will be a very good learning experience for me,” said Gelhaus.

Based on past storms, the courses could take a hit in the tens of millions.

While clearing downed trees is tough, course managers say the flooding is what really sets them back.

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