HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The state of South Carolina is at OPCON 4 status, meaning emergency officials are on watch for flooding and any other weather threats, and safety is the number one priority as heavy rain heads our way.
Weather impacting travel
The amount of rain we're forecasting is going to impact your travel plans, especially as you hit the roads.
Officials with North Myrtle Beach Public safety say it's typical as rain picks up so do accidents.
According to SCDOT, nearly half of weather-related accidents happen during rainfall.
Keep in mind, visibility and traction are going to be an issue but you also need to prepare for significant widespread flooding. You should never drive through moving water and if possible, you should stay off the roads.
The best thing you can do is plan ahead and prepare for delays in more than one way.
"If we get the type of rain that we're expecting, then our response times will be a little bit slower than what the public is normally used to," North Myrtle Beach Fire Chief Gary Spain said. "We will come and we are coming but we also have to drive accordingly to the conditions that we're facing."
On top of issues on the road, the local airports are on standby for any flight delays or cancellations. Representatives with Myrtle Beach International Airport urge you check your flight status on the specific airlines website.
Horry County Emergency Management says to prepare for the worst. Put together a hurricane kit, a communications plan with your family and protect your home to avoid any real problems.
The county is doing its part to prep, as well too. Emergency Management held conference calls all day Thursday with local and state agencies.
The county public works crews have worked over the last few days making sure the storm water drainage system is clear of debris.
The county will continue to put out more help, or even open up the Emergency Operations Center if needed, and urges you listen to all the warnings in order to keep everyone safe.
"When we do put up barricades or warning signs that certain roads are closed because of flooding, we need to make sure that people adhere to those warnings," Horry County Spokesperson Lisa Bourcier said.
Bourcier said to pay attention to flood prone areas such as Garden City, Cherry Grove and other areas of North Myrtle Beach.
"We put up barricades and we sit and try to block off roads that we feel like normally flood, put out information on signs," Spain said. "In case we do have the worst case scenario and an area gets flooded, we have the jet skis in certain areas so we're prepared."
Also watch out for areas with low-lying water, for example, Lee's Landing.
If you see something say something. If you see a tree down on a major road or an accident, you should call 911 but for less severe issues you can call:
Horry County non-emergency dispatch at (843)-248-1520
Horry County Road and Drainage Hotline (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at (843)-381-8000