More damage may come from national media hype than tropical weather

Some recent national news headlines have said this Fourth of July weekend will be a washout for the Carolinas from Arthur, while Chief Meteorologist Ed Piotrowski says the rain and wind we're expecting won't be worse than a normal summer thunderstorm.

Those who work and live in our area year-round say this type of national attention is not necessarily a good thing for our local economy that is seasonally driven by tourism.

"The national media tend to sensationalize this and lump the Carolinas together. For a visitor from Ohio or Pennsylvania, sometimes it's hard to know just exactly where this storm could hit," said Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce President Brad Dean.

There are 488 miles of coastline in North and South Carolina, so it is difficult to make generalizations that the weather will affect areas in both states in the same way.

Dean also said national media hype has become even more prevalent since there is more information at peoples' fingertips than ever before.

"It seems like with the advent of weather channels and a lot of hype around these storms, more and more attention gets drawn to them. Thankfully the damage we've incurred has typically been from media hype, national media hype, and not so much from the direct storm damage," Dean said.

One employee at the 2nd Avenue Pier in Myrtle Beach said they'd like some of the national media coverage to change, so our area could be spared from any economic damage.

"Bring the facts. Bring what's necessary for people to stay safe but leave the spin kind of off to the side," said John Currie.

Dean said people who visit our area should not only rely on national news media, but they should also call local hotels and check local forecasts, because that will give them a better understanding about what type of weather is predicted.