Victoria Hansen

Georgetown Braces for Florence's Final Stop

By Victoria Hansen

Bob Ballew and his wife Penny evacuated their Conway home and are staying at a local shelterThe city of Georgetown may get a bit of a reprieve as Hurricane’s Florence’s flood waters make a final push before heading out to sea. Georgetown County officials now say an updated flood anticipation map from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources shows a much improved forecast and is encouraging people who have evacuated to take a look and decide if it’s safe to return. That certainly was not the case a couple of days ago. The historic riverfront braced for as much as ten feet in floodwaters earlier this week. Shop owners packed up their inventory and put out sandbags in front...

Conway Neighborhood Visited by President Advised to Evacuate by Weekend

By Victoria Hansen

Former Horry County councilwoman Liz Gilland stops to talk to Doug and Sissy Owen about flooding on their propertyThe day before President Trump visited Conway, Doug and Sissy Owen got a knock on their door. It was the National Guard advising them to seek higher ground in 48 hours, well before the weekend when the Waccamaw River is expected to crest. “Thank God that we had notice and time to move everything out,” said Doug Owen. “I can’t imagine how these other people are who didn’t have any time.” In the back of his Sherwood neighborhood, just east of town, several people in community near Crabtree Swamp were pulled to safety Monday by members of the National Guard. Flash flood waters had washed into...

Conway Homeowners Evacuate with More Flooding Still to Come

By Victoria Hansen

Doug and Sissy Owen's home quickly flooding.  They just moved here six months ago.The Waccamaw River has yet to crest and people who fled Conway before Hurricane Florence and returned are now evacuating, either on their own or being forced to go. Debbie Long helped her mother-in-law move out of a neighborhood east of town near Crabtree Swamp just days before the National Guard moved in, pulling people from their homes. So how high was the water? “I don’t know,” she said. “The fire ants are doing their thing where they float and if you get close to them they will swim to you. I’ve already been bitten.” Debbie and neighbor Morgan Sellers try to block a street, not far from...

Many in the Charleston Area Shelter in Place for Florence

By Victoria Hansen

Dunleavys Pub on Sullivan's Island is boarded up but open for businessJust hours before hurricane Florence slammed into North Carolina, Dallas Cone and his nearly 1 year-old daughter Hannah sat in the sand on Sullivan’s Island just outside of Charleston enjoying the cool breeze and growing waves. He admitted his family was poised to leave, but changed their mind at the very last minute. “We did board up yesterday expecting the worst,” he said. “But I think it’s going to be north of us right now.” A woman sun bathed under cloudy skies in a bright, orange bikini. Her husband grabbed a cold one before sitting back down on a large, red cooler. Yeah, they weren’t...

Military Leaders Warn Climate Change is a National Security Threat

By Victoria Hansen

People listen as military and local  leaders talk about climate change and its impact on national security at the Citadel in Charleston.People listen as military and local leaders talk about climate change and its impact on national security at the Citadel in Charleston Credit Victoria Hansen Three years of back to back hurricanes and record floods have left many across the Lowcountry flood weary. Now the height of hurricane season is here. Scientists say climate change is to blame for increased flooding, creating more intense storms and rising sea levels. But it’s not just coastal homeowners who are worried. Some military leaders warn climate change is a threat to national security. “I will tell you around the country and...

Citadel Employee Accused of Sexually Abusing Former Cadet

By Victoria Hansen

Kenneth Gregory BoesAn employee with Charleston’s military college, the Citadel, is accused of giving a former cadet alcohol and pills, and sexually assaulting him. Kenneth Gregory Boes is charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct following an investigation by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. An arrest affidavit says the alleged assaults reportedly began last summer after the 56 year-old became work out partners with the student. It says Boes tried to forcibly kiss the cadet in September 2017 at his campus office. It goes on to describe another alleged encounter at the defendant’s on campus...

Photographing Veterans after Capturing Combat

By Victoria Hansen

Shelee Murray poses with her late husband's dog tags.Stacy Pearsall's office is tucked away in an upstairs bedroom of her Charleston area home. Her service dog Charlie checks in occasionally, tail wagging, making sure she's alright. Above her desk, hangs a collection of spoons; small, some silver, simple and ornate. Stacy says she handpicked them for a loved one during her travels overseas, someone who has since passed away. They reflect her love of service and a discerning eye. The 38 year-old is a photographer, a master of the moment and light. Her story is as complex as the portraits of veterans she takes. “I see people differently,” she...

Money Raised for Charleston's New International African American Museum

By Victoria Hansen

A picture of what the International African American Museum is expected to look likeThe Charleston Maritime Museum was packed Thursday with a who’s who of community leaders, as well as local and state dignitaries. Former, long time Charleston City Mayor Joe Riley could barely contain his excitement as he stepped up to the podium. “Today we’ve asked all of you to join us to tell you that the dream of the International African American Museum shared by so many will be a reality,” he said. “We have met our $75 million fundraising goal.” The entire room erupted in applause. A once distant goal had finally been met, and the future of a museum honoring the lives and contributions...

The Future of Crab Bank; A Coastal Bird Sanctuary

By Victoria Hansen

Guests aboard a Coastal Expedition cruise look out at the Charleston Harbor and a passing cargo shipChris Crolley of Coastal Expeditions gives a tour of Shem Creek and what's left of bird sanctuary Crab Bank Credit David Quick Chris Crolley wears a long, grey, shirt only those who work in the sun instinctively know to wear. His blue eyes reflect some of the button-up’s hue, as he looks out beneath his worn, woven hat with a small, winged pin. He knows what makes tourists and locals alike go “ahhh”. He’s been giving tours of Mount Pleasant’s Shem Creek for 30 years. “That’s the Atlantic, bottle nosed dolphin,” he says. The president of Coastal Expeditions knows the wildlife; dolphins,...

Lowcountry Bridge Reopens Early

By Victoria Hansen

Traffic backed up on Coleman Boulevard in Mount Pleasant due to closed west bound lanes of Wando BridgeA major artery connecting coastal communities to Charleston and beyond is back open, one week earlier than expected. South Carolina Department of Transportation officials made the announcement late Thursday and reopened the west bound lanes of I-526 to traffic Saturday. Fortunately, the weather permitted. "Well it's very welcome news, " said Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie. "We have 33,000 cars a day going out of Mount Pleasant over that bridge and there are only nine lanes of traffice leading out of our town and two of them were lost in a moment's notice." That moment came when a cable...

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