Preparations, planning begin in case of evacuation - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Preparations, planning begin in case of evacuation

Signs mark evacuation routes in Myrtle Beach (Source: George Umbenhauer) Signs mark evacuation routes in Myrtle Beach (Source: George Umbenhauer)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The possibility of an evacuation Thursday for Hurricane Matthew has law enforcement agencies making preparations and encouraging the public to do the same.

Myrtle Beach Police Department Lt. Joey Crosby said Wednesday’s goals were getting equipment and staff members ready.

He said an operational plan is in place and officers have been assigned to different areas of the city, such as U.S. 501 and Third Avenue South.

While first responders will be readily available during an evacuation, Crosby said people need to understand that might not be the case if they choose to stay when one is issued for their area.

“It’s your way of making sure that you and your family are safe because every storm is different and should something occur, not only are you and your family in danger, but you’re also putting public safety in danger to come rescue you as well,” he said.

Although this would be the first evacuation in more than a decade, Crosby said the department’s officers use their traffic management skills for big events, such as Bikefest, throughout the year.

Plus, he said the city now has traffic cameras that will help police officers effectively monitor the traffic situation and make changes if needed.

He encourages the public to prepare now and get out early.

“We saw a large amount of traffic leaving town last night (Tuesday), which was very encouraging,” Crosby said. "People are taking this storm very seriously and they’re adhering to what the governor was saying yesterday on the news conference.”

South Carolina Highway Patrol observed the same.

“A lot of people are watching the weather, seeing the forecast, seeing that it may be close, so they’re making that decision to leave early,” SCHP Cpl. Sonny Collins said. “It’s a plus because it’s when you have everyone trying to leave at the same time that you have the big traffic congestion.”

Collins said SCHP practices for hurricane evacuations annually. The National Guard is now in the area to help, he added.

“All the folks are now in town,” he said. “We’re ready to go. We’ll get on those traffic control points.”

Troopers already have plans to be along the evacuation routes if an evacuation is issued, but Collins asks people to prepare ahead of time and don’t rely on them for basic directions.

“A small back-up for just a few minutes can cause a big back-up down the line,” he said.

Collins added people need to know their evacuation route so they don’t put extra strain on another one.

He also said people need to have a destination, know how to get there and alert someone of where that is.

“If you’re able to get to Florence, Columbia or even above, certainly the further the better if you’re talking about storm effects,” he said.

Collins said drivers should also plan for their trip to take longer than it would on a normal day.

“Traffic will be slowed to some degree,” he said. “It won’t be as free flowing as it would on a natural day.”

Copyright 2016 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • Highway Patrol troopers provide tips to holiday drivers at Welcome Centers

    Highway Patrol troopers provide tips to holiday drivers at Welcome Centers

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 8:55 PM EST2017-11-23 01:55:38 GMT
    Interstate 95 sign (Source: WMBF News)Interstate 95 sign (Source: WMBF News)

    When you’re hitting the road for Thanksgiving, state law enforcement wants to make sure you drive safe. South Carolina Highway Patrol was at the Welcome Center in Dillon County just off I-95 and others cross the state to hand out safety material and talk with motorists traveling for the holiday, especially those from out of state.

    More >>

    When you’re hitting the road for Thanksgiving, state law enforcement wants to make sure you drive safe. South Carolina Highway Patrol was at the Welcome Center in Dillon County just off I-95 and others cross the state to hand out safety material and talk with motorists traveling for the holiday, especially those from out of state.

    More >>
  • Last minute Thanksgiving shopping helps local business owners

    Last minute Thanksgiving shopping helps local business owners

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 8:48 PM EST2017-11-23 01:48:45 GMT
    Last minute shoppers rushed to check items off their grocery list while supporting local business owners in the process. (Source: WMBF News)Last minute shoppers rushed to check items off their grocery list while supporting local business owners in the process. (Source: WMBF News)

    The countdown to Turkey Day is underway, with less than 24 hours to go, plenty of people are making last-minute grocery stops. That shopping made it a busy day for local business owners in Horry Country, especially for the grocery stores and local meat markets.

    More >>

    The countdown to Turkey Day is underway, with less than 24 hours to go, plenty of people are making last-minute grocery stops. That shopping made it a busy day for local business owners in Horry Country, especially for the grocery stores and local meat markets.

    More >>
  • Deal Diva: ‘Travel Deal Tuesday’ the latest shopping holiday

    Deal Diva: ‘Travel Deal Tuesday’ the latest shopping holiday

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 7:27 PM EST2017-11-23 00:27:40 GMT
    While searching online for the deals, Christel found starting Thanksgiving Day, hotel giant Marriott and SPG will have its cyber sale. (Source: WMBF News)While searching online for the deals, Christel found starting Thanksgiving Day, hotel giant Marriott and SPG will have its cyber sale. (Source: WMBF News)

    You might score big on a TV or a game system this Black Friday, but you also might be able to land a getaway trip at a great price soon too. Deal Diva Christel Bell explained how you can save if you are looking for travel deals, airfares, and hotels. You have Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and now add “Travel Deal Tuesday” to the list.

    More >>

    You might score big on a TV or a game system this Black Friday, but you also might be able to land a getaway trip at a great price soon too. Deal Diva Christel Bell explained how you can save if you are looking for travel deals, airfares, and hotels. You have Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and now add “Travel Deal Tuesday” to the list.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly