SCDHEC demands Cherry Grove Angel Statue removed, but considering options?

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David Hucks
David Hucks
David Hucks is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at

UPDATE: SCDHEC sent Maye Hayes Jepson an email today saying they are giving her a two week reprieve on removal of the angel while they work on options.

In April, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control told the family who put up an angel statue at the point in Cherry Grove in North Myrtle Beach that it must be removed by tomorrow. This according to Facebook posts by Maye Hayes Jepson and Jerri Ross Hayes, who helped place the angel. It has been there since August 2023.

Maye Hayes Jepson says that she originally spoke with North Myrtle Beach City Manager, Mike Mahaney, who told her she could place the angel where it currently stands.

Jepson also said she received a letter from SCDHEC stating the statue must be removed by April 30th. She received an official letter in writing from the department earlier this month.

A state source tells MyrtleBeachSC News, however, that SCDEHEC is now looking for options to perhaps keep the statue in the area, but moved to a private property.

Per this source, DHEC is working to find alternatives that meet the requirements of SCDHEC. However, the removal of the statue still stands and will occur tomorrow.

Cherry Grove Angel Resolution
Local Cartoonist Ed Wilson’s take on the Cherry Grove Angel Statue

The family spread Andy Hayes’ ashes in that location a month after he passed away in July.

Mrs. Jepson said her brother loved the ocean and North Myrtle Beach. She told our news team that everyone loved Andy as well. This has been confirmed by several sources we reached out to.

In the seven months that “Andy’s Angel” statue has been up, it’s gained so much attention that SCDHEC became concerned it might harm the dunes. Foot traffic on the dunes has been a concern for SCDHEC. Many people come to the statue and leave peace offerings such as shells and pine cones.

As readers can see from her post above, Maye Hayes Jepson said the statue is located on a walking path next to the dunes.

The city of North Myrtle Beach said last Tuesday that it, also, is looking into alternative locations for the statue.

The City of North Myrtle Beach allows much larger life guard stands and beach rental boxes on those same oceanfront dunes.

Over 400 people have joined a Facebook group dedicated to the angel. Many people in the group are saddened by the angel’s removal. They commented that they come to see the angel whenever they visit North Myrtle Beach and the point.

Says Maye Hayes Jepson, “I absolutely believe Andy’s Angel is a source of healing for people. It’s just a place people can come back year after year and contemplate the wonderful times they spent at the beach with a loved one.”

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