Hurricane Joaquin has hit the south eastern part of the US. South Carolina residents reeled under the effects of weekend flooding that killed at least 11 people and left tens of thousands without power or drinking water.
President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration, making federal aid available to the southern state that has been drenched with a level of rain that - as Governor Nikki Haley put it - the region has not seen in 1,000 years. A tropical air mass over much of South Carolina starting Thursday dumped 14 inches (36 centimeters) of rain, a new record, the National Weather Service said.
There are currently 40,000 residents without water and 26,000 without power.
Bill and Gloria Gaithers have written a touching letter in response of the recent catastrophe:
To everyone affected by the flooding on the East Coast caused by Hurricane Joaquin, our prayers are with you! We pray for peace, provision and safety for each and every individual touched by the devastation. These are the moments when our dependence on Christ and on our community takes on a new level of significance.
This week we've had numerous callers asking if we are proceeding with plans for Gaither Fest in Myrtle Beach, and the answer is a definitive, "Yes!"
We have people on the ground in Myrtle Beach, and many others who have traveled from various states across the U.S. who report that the main thoroughfares into Myrtle Beach are open and major roads in the area are clear. Any low impact detours are clearly marked and alternative routes are easily navigated. And local officials expect travel to improve even more during the next 48 hours.
The MB Chamber of Commerce has no reports of hotel closings. The Convention Center is also dry and ready to host an unforgettable weekend!
Hope to see you this weekend!
Bill & Gloria Gaither