MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Congressman Tom Rice is urging South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster to amend the federal application for Hurricane Florence relief to include immediate funding for Interstate 73 as an adequate evacuation route.
In that letter to McMaster, which was sent on Tuesday, Rice noted that flood waters from Florence “threaten to close the only remaining lifelines to the Grand Strand, US-501 and US-17.”
Rice references the S.C. Department of Transportation’s efforts to preserve two lanes of those highways by placing sandbags along the routes.
“If they are successful, a quarter of a million South Carolinians will have only four lanes to access the rest of the state,” Rice wrote in the letter. “If they are not successful, 250,000 of my constituents will be cut off completely from the outside world for 10 to 15 days.”
The congressman stressed the Grand Strand needs an adequate evacuation route to safely move residents from natural disasters and back home when the situation ends.
“Interstate 73 will fulfill this need,” Rice wrote. “Studies show that the portion of I-73 from the Grand Strand to I-95 will reduce evacuation times by 11 to 15 hours.”
To read the full letter, click here.