Surfer missing off SC coast in waves of mostly mild Andrea

jholleman@thestate.comJune 7, 2013 

Tropical Weather

Beachgoers play in waves at Folly Beach from Tropical Storm Andrea, Friday near Charleston.

LEROY BURNELL — AP

A South Carolina man died in an accident on slick roads in Virginia, and a teen surfing big waves off North Myrtle Beach was missing Friday, proof that even a relatively benign tropical storm like Andrea can be dangerous, even deadly.

Andrea moved through South Carolina early in the day, knocking down a few trees and causing some localized flooding in coastal counties. State emergency officials breathed a sigh of relief at the minimal damage reports.

But Andrea’s impact wasn’t just near its center. Outer bands of rain associated with the storm soaked Interstate 77 in western Virginia Friday.

William Petty, 57, of Lexington died on I-77 in Virginia after the car driven by Susan Petty hydroplaned and turned facing traffic. The Pettys got out of the car safely, but William Petty was killed when he tried to return to the car and was hit by a tractor-trailer, according to Virginia State Police.

As Andrea blew through South Carolina, surfers went out to try their luck in the big waves associated with the storm. Authorities were searching Friday afternoon for a 19-year-old surfer after his board washed ashore before noon without him near 42nd Avenue North in Cherry Grove, according to North Myrtle Beach spokesman Pat Dowling.

On land, the storm wasn’t much more than “a good real-world run thru of emergency plans,” according to a tweet from the S.C. Emergency Management Division.

The top land wind speed measured in South Carolina was 48 mph at Sullivan’s Island.

Official rainfall totals from midnight Wednesday through 2 p.m. Friday were 4.85 inches in North Myrtle Beach, 2.82 in Augusta, 2.63 in Orangeburg, 1.82 in Charleston, 1.78 in Columbia and 1.70 in Florence.

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