Sandbags left out after Hurricane Ian (Photos by Paxton Rountree)
Five Points’ preparation for Hurricane Ian was successful in helping to prevent damage, and the storm’s changing path allowed Jerry Fest to continue as normal on Sunday.
Jerry Fest is a free outdoor concert with multiple bands performing each year, hosted by Loose Lucy’s clothing shop and the Five Points Association. Jerry Fest is named for Jerry Garcia, the lead singer of the Grateful Dead, many of whose fans followed the band on tour in celebration of a laid-back, tie-dyed lifestyle.
“Fortunately, we didn’t have any sort of major flooding,” said Steve Cook, president of the Five Points Association.
Ian was expected to be its worst on Friday — and worst, perhaps, in Five Points, a low-lying area that frequently floods. In preparation, business owners and city officials cleared out storm drains along the streets were in case of flooding and placed sandbags outside storefront doors.
Different preventative measures were taken by the shops in Five Points.
Ice cream shop The Baked Bear closed early Thursday night, then all day Friday, Assistant Manager Novalae Ortiz said. Rock, Paper, Scissors Salon was closed Friday, too.
The biggest change might have the University of South Carolina’s football game against S.C. State moving from Saturday to Thursday, causing restaurants to rearrange their reservations and call their staffs in early.
“It just wasn’t a typical Friday, and I would imagine that stretched over the entire city,” Cook said.
Moving the game and the changed path of the hurricane resulted in great turnout and weather for Loose Lucy’s plans. Anticipation for the storm kept people in Columbia and moving the football game freed up the weekend.
“I think, actually, with the hurricane, it helped our attendance,” said Katherine Getz, manager at Loose Lucy’s.
Getz said she thinks moving the football game helped the store.
“I want everyone to be safe, but with that being moved, I definitely feel it like helped,” Getz said.
Loose Lucy’s was confident that Jerry Fest, which started in 2014, was going to happen.
“We always reassured people we’re definitely going to have it, like the weather is looking great, don’t y’all worry,” Getz said.