Sanford makes stop to talk hurricanes in Conway

Conway, SC - By Chandi Lowry - bio | email

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Gov. Mark Sanford is visiting different cities in South Carolina to warn people about this year's hurricane season as part of a Hurricane Preparedness Coastal Tour.

The National Hurricane Centerpredicts 23 named tropical storms will develop during the 2010 season, 14 of which have the potential of becoming hurricanes.

Sanford said yet again this year, the threat of a hurricane hitting the coastal region of South Carolina is a very real one.

"I really do believe this could be the year, and that's something we need to take very seriously. There is a 45 percent chance that a major hurricane, 111 mph or more, will hit the East Coast this year. That's way up from the historical number of the last 100 years of 31 percent."

Horry County emergency Management Director Randy Webster explained that the tour informs people that they need to be ready in case a hurricane comes to the state of South Carolina.

The governor said Tuesday people need to be familiar with evacuation routes that have been in place for years, along with knowing where shelters are located.

"I think people need to understand we have not had true hurricane conditions since 1989 - since hurricane Hugo," Webster said. "There have been a lot of people moving here and a lot of people who have forgotten what it's like. I think now is the time people need to take the time to get ready. By the time the storm comes, its way too late."

The governor said although the state budget is facing tough times, hurricane preparedness is top priority.

Sanford met with emergency officials in Columbia in May to go over plans and made sure hurricane guides reach people who live east of Interstate 95.

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