More than $40 million in damage reported across Horry County from Hurricane Florence

More than $40 million in damage reported across Horry County from Hurricane Florence
A resident in Socastee walks through a flooded street more than a week after Hurricane Florence. (SOURCE: Jack Vandertoll)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A month after Hurricane Florence made landfall, Horry County officials say that the catastrophic storm caused more than $40 million in damage to homes and businesses in the area.

A company hired to assess storm damage has been able to access 85 percent of homes in Horry County, the other 15 percent remain inaccessible.

According to MyHorryNews.com, a WMBF News media partner, Justin Powell, an assistant county administrator, estimate that $41.6 million in damage was done to 1,331 properties in the county’s unincorporated areas.

That number doesn’t include damage assessments from the municipalities or several riverfront neighborhoods that aren’t accessible yet, meaning the figure will only rise.

The hardest hit areas of the county include Longs, Bucksport and Socastee.

In Conway, about 360 homes and businesses suffered flood damage, said city spokeswoman Taylor Newell. She said the city has not calculated damage assessments yet.

Most of Florence’s destruction in Horry came from the flooding of the Waccamaw and Little Pee Dee rivers. The Waccamaw reached record heights and the Little Pee Dee inundated homes along the county's western and southern borders.

However, the coastal areas of the county were largely spared from devastation. Myrtle Beach saw just $50,000 in private property damage from the storm, said Emily Hardee in the city's construction services department.

In North Myrtle Beach, most of the exterior structural damage was to roofs, siding and shingles, said city spokesman Pat Dowling. Some homes also saw interior water damage. The city estimates Florence caused $833,575 in residential damage and $38,900 in commercial damage.

Surfside Beach homes and businesses had few problems from the storm, said town clerk Debra Herrmann. She said an ornamental myrtle tree at her house fell over and there were some reports of leaky roofs, but no quantifiable damage.

“We’re in good shape in Surfside,” she said. “If the storm had come 15 miles south, we would have had some significant damage.”

Some Loris homes experienced flash flooding and the roof of city hall collapsed during a Sept. 16 deluge, but a damage report wasn't available Thursday. Town Administrator Damon Kempski could not be reached for comment.

Horry County residents can help local officials document the storm’s destruction. A link has been set up on the county’s website (horrycounty.org) where residents can self-report storm damage.

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