On Tuesday, on an empty Surfside Beach, with a damaged pier from Hurricane Matthew in 2016 in the background, the Thackrays took a selfie, showing themselves enjoying a final calm afternoon together.
There’s Jessamyn, Stephen, and their 2-and-a-half-year-old son, Oliver.
“We live five minutes from the beach, so (Oliver) was excited to go this morning. It was a little cloudy, a little overcast. Not many people but it was almost eerie kind of seeing no one here,” Jessamyn said in a FaceTime interview from outside their condominium.
Part of the Myrtle Beach family plans to be on the move soon Wednesday morning. Well before the category four hurricane arrives later this week.
“It’s difficult; I don’t ever want to leave my husband. I know he has to stay and I definitely don’t want to stay here for something like this,” she said. “The little one and I (will) go to Greenville which is about four and a half hours away usually. My husband unfortunately has to stay here because he is an officer, so he has to protect and serve.”
Stephen is on the Myrtle Beach police force.
The roads are already clogged, and storm prep is already well underway. Locals are even on a nickname basis with Hurricane Florence, hoping it shows mercy.
“They have written messages to Flo, like, ‘Go away Flo!’” she said with an optimistic smile.
Jessamyn remembers Hurricane Hugo, the 1989 storm that battered the southeast, hoping Florence isn’t a repeat.
“You kind of hope it’s not going to happen the same way. You have to always prepare for the worst and hope for the best,” she said.
She says if they didn’t have a growing family she potentially would have tried to ride out the storm in Myrtle Beach with a friend.