HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Despite the evacuation order which began at 12 p.m., Thursday for Zone A in Horry County ahead of Hurricane Matthew, traffic was not heavy or backed up throughout the afternoon for the evacuation routes.
"It's been very light traffic," South Carolina Highway Patrol Cpl. Sonny Collins said. "Everything is moving smoothly. So if you're still out there and you're still thinking about evacuating, the roads are still available for that because there's not much traffic."
Collins said U.S. 501 started getting busy Tuesday night and a steady stream of cars continued out Wednesday.
"I think a lot of people did heed that early warning and now that we're actually in the evacuation the majority of people that were going to leave have left," he said.
He added campgrounds emptied out ahead of an actual evacuation order, which helped traffic Thursday afternoon.
Collins said traffic could pick up in the evening hours as people get out of work.
He said any increased traffic is expected to happen on U.S. 501 because it is the main route out of Myrtle Beach.
According to Collins, troopers are stationed at traffic control points on U.S. 501 stretching 25 miles all the way out to Marion County.
National Guard soldiers joined SCHP troopers to help out if anything happened.
Three hundred soldiers are now in Horry County, said Lt. Tracci Dorgan.
They'll work with South Carolina Highway Patrol, Horry County police, SLED and the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.
Some of the soldiers are from Horry County and others who aren't from the area spent time Thursday driving around to become familiar with the roads, Dorgan said.
Sgt. Dustin Ramage said it can be tough to leave their own families, but it's a sacrifice they make to serve.
"We've had time to prep our families and our families already know that we are out there to help everyone," he said. "And our families know that we're only a phone call away from them too."
The National Guard will stay through the storm and after to help with recover and cleanup.