Emergency management officials reiterate importance of evacuation ahead of Florence

Emergency management officials reiterate importance of evacuation ahead of Florence
Officials reiterate the importance of evacuating, especially if you’re in evacuation zones A, B or C (Source: Marissa Tansino).

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – The Horry County Emergency Operations Center was in full swing Wednesday as officials prepare for Hurricane Florence's anticipated landfall within the next day or two.

Officials reiterated the importance of evacuating, especially if residents live in evacuation zones A, B or C. They also reminded everyone that once the weather reaches a certain point, law enforcement officers won't be able to come out and rescue people in trouble.

"It's up to the police chief and fire chief as to when they pull their units off the street," said Renee Hardwick, Horry County's director of 911.

Once the storm gets underway and winds reach 60 miles per hour, first responders say they won't be able to help anyone in trouble.

"We don't want to be the person on the phone with someone that we can't send help to," said Hardwick.

They're prepared in case that scenario comes about. Hardwick said they'll have members of the police and fire departments on hand during the storm.

"To help talk to people and reassure them and give them information that we actually cannot give them legally," said Hardwick.

But officials are urging the public to take steps so it doesn't get to that point.

"If you haven't gotten out and you're in zones A, B or C, please adhere to the warnings of our officials. Please, we need you to get out," said Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus.

For those who don't leave, Horry County officials want them to buckle down and stay safe. They're also urging those who might not be in evacuation zones, but flood-prone zones, to leave if they need to.

"This from what we're hearing, this is going to be the most unprecedented storm we've seen in our lifetime," Lazarus said.

He added they're all here working together to get through this at the end, and some officials offered a word of advice to some of those who are staying or are on the fence

"You have to ask yourself one question - do you really want to be here? Are you able to maintain what you need for your family, for yourself, for a multitude of days without electricity, without (being) able to get around?" said Randy Webster, Horry County's director of emergency management.

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