Hurricane plan emphasizes evacuations, closes shelters

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) Horry County Emergency Management has started the "Know Your Zone" plan for hurricane preparedness.

Its two days before Hurricane Season is set to begin, but with two close calls with two tropical storms, experts say it's imperative everyone understands the details of the plan.

"Storm surge is generally the killer in a hurricane," said Emergency Management Director Randy Webster. The program puts heavy emphasis on storm surge, which new studies show do heavy damage to the area.

"A lot of people died from the freshwater flooding from the storm," Webster said.

"Know Your Zone" extends the evacuation zones in Horry County west of the Intracoastal Waterway, but in doing so has closed three shelters in Conway.

"They're too close to the storm surge impact area," Webster said. 'You can't shelter people in harm's way."

But less shelters have some people in Conway on edge. Suzanne Buffkin is a Grand Strand native, and she thinks closing the shelters could put pressure on people who can't evacuate.

"When Hugo hit, all the hotels in Florence and Bennettsville filled up right away," she said. "Traffic was so thick, a lot of people that stay will need a place to go."

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