HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County Emergency Management is moving forward with plans to build a new Emergency Operations Center after County Council approved $2 million to go towards designs and permits.
The new EOC and E-911 Communications Center would be built on Industrial Park Road across from J Rueben Long Detention Center, the space is currently owned by the county.
"I'm looking forward to a facility that will give us sustainability for the long-term and take care of everyone that's there," said Horry County Emergency Management Director, Randy Webster.
Webster says the proposed 39,000 sqft, two-floor center will be made of concrete making it earthquake-proof and able to take on a category five hurricane, capable of withstanding winds over 150 mph.
A needs assessment shows the project is estimated to cost around $26 million.
The current emergency operations center can only withstand winds of 100mph, and Webster explains it is prone to flooding.
"It was built in the early 90's so it's only rated for a category one storm," Webster said.
The Emergency Operation Center off of 701 was first used for Hurricane Bonnie in 1998, since then, it's been activated 16 times for bike weeks, tropical storms, and hurricanes.
"I'm looking forward to the future and having a facility that will be here well into the future to support everybody's needs," Webster said.
Webster says there's no exact timeline yet, but he's hoping to be in the new building in about three years. Construction for the project is estimated to take 18 months.