This Week around Walkers Woods and Carolina Forest

"This Week around Walkers Woods" is a weekly community column written for the neighborhood of Walkers Woods, but pertains to the entire Carolina Forest community.

Hello, neighbors.  I want to start out with Happy Birthday wishes to Walkers Woods resident Katie Burczynski.  Katie’s 6th birthday party was held at the Walkers Woods pool this past weekend, and all of the kids had a blast.  I asked Benjamin what his favorite part was, and he said “the cupcakes!”  Of course. 

I hope your kids are enjoying their first week back in school.  I saw several of you at the Carolina Forest Elementary School Open House last week.  I also had the pleasure of meeting the new Principal, Dennis Devorick.  He was wearing a Pittsburgh Steelers tie, so he’s alright.  I asked him if he would mind sharing some of his thoughts on the new school year, and he was happy to do so.

Mr. Devorick said they have a new theme this year at CFE – “I am, you are, we are Carolina Forest Bear Cubs TOGETHER.”  To achieve Horry County Schools’ vision of being a premier, world class school system, Devorick told me he will focus on People, Learning and Engagement.

He said it is the people at CFE that attracted him to this new position.  Although it’s great to have a newly renovated building with no modular classrooms, the building is not the school.  Devorick said it is the people that make a school a school.  “By hiring the best staff we can provide the best education possible.”

Devorick’s focus on learning will include having all students reading fluently by the second grade.  “We want to focus on the whole child and promote life skills such as:  Integrity, initiative, flexibility, perseverance, organization, a sense of humor, effort, common sense, problem solving, responsibility, patience, friendship, curiosity, cooperation and caring.”

Another of Devorick’s goals is for CFE to engage the community.  He plans to engage local businesses, churches, civic organizations and colleges, “so we can be Carolina Forest together.”  Most importantly, we parents need to be involved.  “We welcome parent support.  They are the first teacher, and together we can make a difference.”  Let’s all welcome Principal Devorick to The Forest.

The Carolina Forest Civic Association had their monthly meeting last Wednesday.  Eric Westover has resigned from the Board of Directors.  Nominations are currently being accepted.  Notify the Board by September 1 if you are interested in running.  Carole vanSickler, head of the HOA Committee, has announced that she is running for the seat.  Carole spoke on behalf of the CFCA at the Walkers Woods POA annual meeting in May.

Our guest speaker last week was meteorologist Chris Still discussing hurricane preparedness and safety.  The tropics are expected to stay busy through September and into October.

A lot of us have lived in The Forest for six years or less, which means we have not experienced a hurricane here.  I told Chris that we needed to know how to be prepared and what to expect west of the Waterway, and that is exactly what his presentation focused on.

A mandatory evacuation will not be ordered west of the Waterway.  This is because evacuations are ordered when a heavy storm surge is expected.  The storm surge from a hurricane won’t flood us in The Forest, but heavy rain could. 

Chris said Hurricane Floyd was the type of storm Carolina Forest needs to watch out for.  It was only a category 2, but it brought a whole lot of rain.  It is important that we keep our retention ponds and storm drains properly maintained.

As for heavy winds, it is up to the residents of The Forest to determine whether to leave or not when a hurricane is approaching.  Make your decision as early as possible, because a Carolina Forest evacuation will be a serious traffic issue.  Re-entry will surely be delayed because of fallen trees blocking the roads.

Chris said taping your windows does nothing for protection.  It isn’t the wind itself that breaks windows, but rather flying objects.  Therefore, storm shutters are highly recommended.  If your windows and garage door hold, your roof will not blow off.

Flood insurance is highly recommended.  It is not included in standard homeowners insurance.  Chris also recommends asking your insurance agent about a “wind/hail mitigation” discount.  Discounts may also be available for the shape of your roof, storm-resistant windows and shingles.

Finally, make sure you have an emergency kit for when the power goes out.  It will go out in a hurricane, even though we have underground lines.

Log on to frequently for POA information.  If you are on Facebook, check out the Walkers Woods at Carolina Forest page to connect with your neighbors.  And if you have any items you would like me to include in this column, please send them to me at  Have a great week.

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