Emergency officials thankful for preparedness shown with Irene

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Emergency management officials in Horry County say the Grand Strand's brush with Hurricane Irene showed them residents could successfully prepare for a storm.

Hurricane Irene came close to 100 miles off Myrtle Beach's coast, but damage was minimal. Officials say Irene was the test that the Grand Strand needed.

"There were a lot of people that were really proactive about taking their proper steps and getting clarification on a few things. It makes me feel really good about the community coming together and doing what needed to be done," said Randy Webster, director of Emergency Management.

Webster says he's not concerned whether or not people thought the hurricane was taken too seriously, but is proud of the preparedness exhibited by government agencies as well as the people of Horry County. He says the plans people made for this storm will be valuable throughout hurricane season, which lasts until November.

"We were lucky this time. There's other storms brewing. We're early in the season so the steps people took this time may go a long way toward the rest of this season or into the years to come," Webster said.

Copyright 2011 WMBF News. All rights reserved.