HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Both Horry and Georgetown counties have moved to Operating Condition 3 (OPCON 3) in preparation of Hurricane Matthew, meaning the storm poses a significant threat to the area.
Horry County officials released the following information regarding the move to OPCON 3:
Conway, South Carolina – Horry County has moved to OPCON 3 (Level 3 Operating Condition) in preparation of Hurricane Matthew. OPCON 3 means the storm poses a significant threat to Horry County. County officials are in continual discussions with South Carolina Emergency Management, coastal communities including local municipalities, the Governor's office and will continue to monitor the situation closely. The Horry County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is NOT fully activated at this time however it is prepared to fully activate if the Governor issues a mandatory evacuation order.
Should mandatory evacuation order be issued, it is important that residents are familiar with the evacuation zones as follows:
Zone A: All areas east of U.S. Business 17 (Kings Hwy), up to intersection with U.S. 17 (Kings Hwy) and then all areas east of US 17 (Kings Hwy) to the Northern county line.
Zone B: All areas south of Hwy 707 and Longwood Drive, including all areas in Longwood Plantation (Blackmoor) to the Waccamaw River and all areas east of U.S. 17 Bypass (Mark Garner Hwy) to U.S. 17 (North Kings Hwy) and all areas east of U.S. 17 (North Kings Hwy) to the northern county line.
Zone C: All areas between Hwy 701 and Hwy 544, south of Brown's Chapel Avenue and Hwy 814, plus all areas east of Highway 31 (Carolina Bays Parkway) to Highway 90 and all areas east of Highway 90 to U.S. 17 to the northern county line.
Mobile homes, campers and those in flood prone areas are asked to evacuate for all storms.
Horry County evacuates for storm surge and not for wind.
Prior to any evacuation orders, it is important that residents are familiar with the evacuation route that they will take:
North Myrtle Beach and northward: Evacuees from north of Briarcliffe Acres will take SC 9 north to I-95 and beyond.
Briarcliffe Acres south to Myrtle Beach 10th Avenue North: Evacuees in Briarcliffe Acres south to 10th Avenue North will take SC 22 (Conway Bypass) to US 501 to Marion. In Marion, they may then take US 76 to Florence to access I-95 southbound or they may stay on US 501 to SC 38 to access I-95 northbound.
Myrtle Beach, from 10th Avenue North south to the Myrtle Beach International Airport: Evacuees from the Myrtle Beach area south of 10th Avenue North and north of the Myrtle Beach International Airport will take US 501 to Conway. They may then take US 378 to Columbia or continue on US 501 to Marion. In Marion they may then take US 76 to Florence to access I-95 southbound or they may stay on US 501 to SC 38 to access I-95 northbound.
Myrtle Beach International Airport southward through Surfside Beach: Evacuees from the Myrtle Beach International Airport south through Surfside Beach will take SC 544 to US 501 to Conway. They may then take US 378 to Columbia or continue on US 501 to Marion. In Marion they may then take US 76 to Florence to access I-95 southbound or they may stay on US 501 to SC 38 to access I-95 northbound.
Garden City Beach south to Winyah Bay: Evacuees from Garden City Beach south to Winyah Bay will take US 17 south through Georgetown. They will then take US 521 to SC 261 to US 378 to Columbia. Alternatively, they may take US 17 south to US 701 in Georgetown to SC 51 to US 378 at Kingsburg.
Residents that live in Evacuation Zone C should utilize the closest available evacuation route to safely evacuate the area.
When evacuating, it is important to take a road map. Motorists should be aware that law enforcement and the South Carolina National Guard may be posted along evacuation routes to provide assistance. Evacuation routes and maps are available on Horry County's office website at http://www.horrycounty.org/Departments/EmergencyManagement.aspx.
Whether required to evacuate or not, citizens should:
Have all necessary medications (prescription and over the counter).
Have a supply of nonperishable food and water for each family member including pets.
Survey property to mitigate the potential of flooding such as making sure storm drains and gutters are clear of debris.
Have family hurricane plans in place; including items that may be needed like water, batteries, flashlights, etc.
Anticipate potential power outages that could extend for several days.
If an evacuation order is given, 16-area schools will be opened as American Red Cross Shelters. Shelters should be considered as a place of last resort to ride out the storm, shelters may be crowded, they do not accept pets and not designed for comfort. When going to a shelter, citizens will need to take their own supplies such as batteries, bedding, identification, toiletries, clothing, etc…Shelters do not accept guns, alcohol or animals. To easily locate a shelter, download the American Red Cross' Shelter Finder application on the Apple iTunes Store or Google Play.
Additional hurricane information can be found on Horry County's website at http://www.horrycounty.org/Departments/EmergencyManagement/Hurricanes. This link contains information on how to prepare for an emergency, evacuation routes and maps, re-entry information, shelters, etc.
Below is a news release from Georgetown County regarding their move to OPCON 3:
GEORGETOWN COUNTY — Georgetown County government will move to Operating Condition (OPCON) 3 at noon today as the county's Emergency Management Division staff continues to monitor and prepare for Hurricane Matthew. The county's Emergency Operations Center will be partially activated.
OPCON 3 indicates a disaster or emergency situation is likely or imminent. Hurricane Matthew's track shifted to the west yesterday and early this morning, placing the South Carolina coast well within the five-day forecast cone. Matthew may move by our coast as a strong to possibly major hurricane, with the closest approach during Saturday, according to the National Weather Service's 7:30 a.m. assessment. "Some uncertainty remains, but overall there is general agreement within the models bringing Matthew to, or near, the Carolina coast at the end of the week," the assessment states.
The county's Emergency Management Division, in conjunction with S.C. Emergency Management and the National Weather Service, will continue to monitor the storm closely and update the public on the threat for our area, residents and visitors.
Members of the public are strongly encouraged to immediately begin reviewing or making emergency plans for their families and businesses, and reviewing those plans with all family members and/or employees. Review evacuation routes, determine where you will go if an evacuation is ordered and check emergency supply kits to make sure necessary items are included. Make sure you include pets in your evacuation plans and pack items they will need as well. It's also a good idea to gather important documents, such as home insurance information and ID to reenter the area after a storm if evacuation is required.
Emergency supply kits should contain:
• Non-perishable food
• Drinking water (two gallons per person per day) • Flashlights with extra batteries and bulbs • First aid kit • Non-electrical can opener • Necessary medications and prescriptions • Needed supplies for any children • Needed supplies for any pets • Important documents (insurance policies, photo ID, tax records, bank information, etc.) • Toiletries and other personal hygiene items • Cash and credit cards • Weather radio with extra batteries
If evacuation becomes necessary, residents should take the following items with them:
• Water—one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply)
• Food—non-perishable, easy to prepare items (3-day supply) • Flashlight • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible) • Extra batteries • First aid kit • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items • Multi-purpose tool • Sanitation and personal hygiene items • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies) • Cell phone with chargers • Family and emergency contact information • Extra cash • Emergency blanket • Map(s) of the area • Other essential items that could not be replaced if they were destroyed