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Greenville Business Magazine

The Business Narrative: Following Nicole

Nov 10, 2022 02:04PM ● By David Dykes

Tropical Storm Nicole Could Significantly Impact Southeastern Beaches

A new U.S. Geological Survey coastal change forecast predicts sandy beaches and dunes in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina are likely to see significant impacts from Tropical Storm Nicole.

USGS coastal change forecasts provide vital information during coastal storms that can help emergency management officials decide which areas to evacuate, where and when to close coastal roads and where to position clean-up equipment in advance of a storm.

The National Hurricane Center said Nicole made landfall in Florida Thursday Nov. 10, 2022, as a Category 1 storm before weakening to a tropical storm. The NHC is also warning of potentially dangerous storm surge along parts of Florida’s Gulf and Atlantic coasts and portions of coastal Georgia.

“One of the challenges creating this coastal change forecast is that we haven’t fully assessed the significant coastal change brought just more than a month ago from Hurricane Ian,” said Kara Doran, a USGS oceanographer and leader of the USGS Coastal Change Hazards Storm Team.

“We know Ian caused significant coastal change and likely made the coasts more vulnerable. But we don’t have updated measurements on how much Ian lowered dune heights so the coastal change Nicole causes may be more significant than what we forecast.” 

USGS coastal change experts are forecasting Nicole’s waves and surge are likely to cause 42 percent of the dunes along Florida’s west coast from Bonita Beach to Anclote Key and from Panacea to Mexico Beach to experience some erosion.

It’s projected that 81 percent of the dunes along Florida’s east coast from Miami to the Georgia line will endure some level of erosion. Seventy-seven percent of Georgia’s dunes and 55 percent of South Carolina’s dunes from the Georgia state line to South Island are also forecast to face some level of erosion. 

A more severe level of coastal damage known as overwash occurs when water levels reach higher than the top of dunes. When a beach is overwashed, sand can be pushed and deposited inland, causing significant changes to coastal landscapes and blocking roadways.

Overwash can reduce the height of protective sand dunes, alter beach profiles and leave areas behind the dunes more vulnerable to future storms.

Approximately 10 percent of Florida’s dunes along sandy beaches from Bonita Beach to Anclote Key and from Panacea to Mexico Beach could be overwashed.

On Florida’s east coast from Miami to the Georgia state line, 11 percent of the dunes are forecast to be overwashed. In Georgia, 15 percent of the dunes are predicted to be overwashed and in South Carolina, 19 percent of the dunes from the Georgia state line to South Island could be overwashed.  

The most severe level of coastal change is when dunes are inundated - meaning continuously covered by ocean water. This storm effect can cause flooding behind dunes that may impact coastal communities.

Currently, only 2 percent of Florida’s west coast dunes and 1 percent of South Carolinas dunes along sandy beaches are forecast to be inundated.

The most current forecast is available on the USGS Coastal Change Hazards PortalReal-time coastal change forecasts for individual locations along the coast are also available in the Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecast Viewer.

The forecast of Nicole’s coastal effects at landfall is based on results of the USGS Coastal Change Forecast model, which has been in use since 2011 and is continually being improved. 

The model starts with inputs from the NHC’s storm surge predictions and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wave forecast models. It then adds detailed information about the expected landfall region’s beach slope and dune height.

The predictions define “very likely” effects as those that have at least a 90 percent chance of taking place, based on the storm’s forecast track and intensity. 

As the USGS continues to take all appropriate preparedness actions in response to Nicole, those in the storm’s projected path can go to for tips on creating emergency plans and putting together an emergency supply kit.

Learn more at USGS hurricane science.

Lowe's Announces Sale of Canadian Retail Business to Sycamore Partners

Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) said it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Canadian retail business to Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm specializing in retail, consumer and distribution-related investments, for $400 million in cash, and performance-based deferred consideration.

Based in Boucherville, Quebec, Lowe's Canadian retail business operates or services approximately 450 corporate and independent affiliate dealer stores in a number of complementary formats under different banners, which include, Lowe's, RONA, Réno-Dépôt and Dick's Lumber.

"The sale of our Canadian retail business is an important step toward simplifying the Lowe's business model.  While this business represents approximately 7 percent of our full year 2022 sales outlook, it also represents approximately 60 basis points of dilution on our full year 2022 operating margin outlook," said Marvin R. Ellison, Lowe's chairman, president and CEO. 

"We remain confident in our short and long-term outlook for the U.S. business, underscored by improved  sales trends and strong profit flow-through in the third quarter, as well as our expectations for solid business performance for the remainder of 2022. By executing this transaction, we will intensify our focus on enhancing our operating margin and ROIC, taking market share in the U.S. and creating greater shareholder value," Ellison continued. 

The transaction is expected to close in early 2023, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. 

In connection with the preparation of the company's financial statements for the third quarter of 2022, the company said it expects to record a pre-tax non-cash impairment charge of approximately $2 billion related to its Canadian retail business.

Motor City Racks Expanding S.C. Presence With New Operations In Laurens County

Motor City Racks, a supplier of automotive and industrial racking products, announced plans to expand its South Carolina footprint with new operations in Laurens County.

The company’s $26 million investment will create 88 jobs, according to the South Carolina Department of Commerce.

Motor City Racks is a full-service manufacturer and supplier that provides custom automotive and agriculture packing solutions. The company also specializes in custom fabrication, design services and laser operations.

Located at 366 Old Airport Road in Laurens, Motor City Racks’ new facility will be its first operation in Laurens County. The facility will accommodate additional production capacity and growth due to increased demand, Commerce officials said.

Motor City Racks also operates a facility in Cherokee County.

Operations are expected to be online by January 2023. Those interested in joining Motor City Racks should go to the company’s contact page. 

The state’s Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits related to the project.

The council also approved a $300,000 Rural Infrastructure Fund grant to Laurens County to assist with the costs of building improvements.

South Carolina Is Ninth Most 'Wrestling-Obsessed' State, Study Reveals

New data reveals the states with the biggest wrestling fans, with West Virginia taking the top spot. 

The research, carried out by wrestling experts Wrestling-World, examined Google Trends data to analyze the past 12 months of Google searches across America for search terms frequently associated with the world of wrestling. These terms were then combined to give each state a total score to discover the states with the biggest wrestling fans.

The study revealed that West Virginia ranks as the most wrestling-obsessed state in America. With a total score of 837, West Virginia topped the list by a landslide, as its population has the highest search levels for eight of the nine keywords used in the study.

For example, the promotions ‘WWE’ and ‘AEW’ are searched the most in the Mountain state, as well as the search terms ‘Wrestling news’ and ‘WrestleMania’. Currently, West Virginia’s favorite wrestler is The Undertaker, as West Virginian residents search for him more than any other wrestler, followed by John Cena. 

Kentucky ranks as the second most wrestling-obsessed state in the country. Kentucky has the second-highest proportion of its population searching for the term ‘pro wrestling’ and the second-highest searches for the promotion ‘Impact wrestling’, giving the state a total score of 680.

Additionally, Kentucky’s most Googled wrestler is John Cena, followed by WWE’s Chief Content Officer Triple H.  

Rhode Island ranks as the third most wrestling-obsessed state in the country, with a total score of 658. The study revealed that Rhode Island has the third-highest level of searches for both ‘WWE’ and the term ‘wrestling news’ in the country, in addition to having the second-highest interest in the brand ‘NXT’.

In Rhode Island, the most popular wrestler is John Cena, followed by Cody Rhodes. 

The study found that Iowa ranks as the fourth most wrestling-obsessed state. Iowa has the highest level of searches for the word ‘wrestling’ and the second-highest level of searches for the term ‘wrestling news,’ giving the state a total score of 651.

Iowa’s favorite wrestling star is the retired wrestler, now turned actor, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. 

The study placed Pennsylvania next in the ranking, as the fifth most wrestling-obsessed state, with a total score of 642. 

The top ten is rounded out by Ohio ranking in sixth place, Tennessee in seventh, followed by Mississippi, South Carolina, and Indiana in eighth, ninth and tenth place, respectively. 

A spokesperson for commented on the study: “Interestingly, states such as Illinois and Texas do not rank among the top ten, which is surprising considering their considerable wrestling following. The same goes for Connecticut, which is also missing from the ranking but is home to WWE’s headquarters, Titan Towers.” 

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