DNR urges you to stay off the water - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

DNR urges you to stay off the water

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) -  We finally have a weekend of sunshine, which means you may want to hit the water, but think again because local agencies are urging you stay off the flooded rivers.

If anyone's familiar with the impact of the flood, it's the Department of Natural Resources. Since the storm first hit, DNR has been revving up crews on the water, checking in on the victims, helping and protecting them.

"We're patrolling areas making sure anyone that's traveling on the waterway or the river is maintaining an idle speed to protect these homes,” said DNR First Sergeant Nate Hutson.

DNR along with Horry County Police, SLED, and the Coast Guard, are trying to keep recreational boaters off the water during the flood.

“Stay away from Socastee, stay off the Waccamaw, don't be out there unless you absolutely have to,” Sergeant Hutson said.

If you are out, they may stop you to find out why.

"Talk to them about what kind of business they have in that neighborhood,” he said. “Making sure they live there, and they're not just causing trouble or trying to get in these folks homes when they're not there."

It goes way beyond looting; keeping boats off the water could salvage many homes on the verge of destruction. All it takes is a little boat power, to cause a lot of damage, especially to homes which have water inches away from coming into the house.

"One of those stilts could be just on the verge of breaking and a good enough wave may cause it to collapse and there may be people inside,” Sergeant Hutson said.

Plus, staying off the river will help keep boaters safe from debris or an injury too.

Before you hook up your boat and trailer, think about the people who won't be able to look at their homes for weeks.

"This is their home, they work hard for these places, ” Sergeant Hutson said. “Don't take advantage of these people's misfortune."

DNR, Horry County Police, SLED and the U.S. Coast Guard will continue to heavily patrol the water until it starts to go down, which could be weeks from now.

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