INFO ON EVACUATIONS
A mandatory evacuation order for all evacuation zones in Georgetown County has been ordered beginning at noon tomorrow as a result of the approach of Hurricane Florence. Georgetown County Emergency Management officials advise all county residents in these zones to heed this order and begin moving their families, including pets, to a safe location inland.
The order covers evacuation zones A, B and C. The zones extend well west of Highway 17 and past Highway 701. Evacuation is also recommended for some residents outside evacuation zones, including those in mobile homes, those with special medical needs and those in areas that are prone to flooding with heavy rains. Residents are reminded that once strong winds start (usually once winds reach 45 miles per hour), emergency vehicles cannot travel and thus there will be no emergency response available for medical or other calls. Additionally, hospitals may not be open to render assistance.
Residents can find their evacuation zones at www.gtcounty.org or by downloading the free S.C. Emergency Manager app for iPhones and android devices. This app will also help businesses begin the process of obtaining re-entry passes for their employees.
Georgetown County government is at OPCON 2, a maximum preparedness level that indicates that a disaster or emergency is imminent.
As of this afternoon, Florence is a Category 3 hurricane and is expected to make landfall as a Category 4 hurricane. Category 4 hurricanes can produce catastrophic damage.
The National Weather Service anticipates arrival of tropical storm winds by early Thursday with landfall late on Thursday. The storm will produce far reaching impacts, but it is still too early to determine which areas receive the direct impacts. All residents in Northeastern South Carolina and southeastern North Carolina are encouraged to take this threat very seriously and prepare for potential landfall by a major hurricane. The storm is 400 miles wide, meaning it will directly affect a large area.
Meteorologists are also predicting significant rainfall with this storm, which could cause river flooding and flash flooding inland in addition to storm surge on the immediate coast.
This app will help residents locate their evacuation zone, prepare and receive updates and emergency alerts. It can be downloaded at: http://onelink.to/dn92rx.
The SC Department of Public Safety and the SC Department of Transportation along with supporting agencies will at noon tomorrow reverse the direction of traffic along certain evacuation routes to ease the flow of traffic away from the coast:
Charleston to Columbia: A full four-lane reversal on I-26 in Charleston will begin at the interchange of I-26 and I-526. The full reversal continues west until the I-26 crossover to I-77 just outside Columbia in Lexington County.
Horry County: Horry County has two four-lane reversals along US 501: SC 544 to US 378; and US 501: Between SC 22 (Conway Bypass) to SC 576 near Marion County.
For the Beaufort and Hilton Head area, we will poise and be ready to reverse US 278 and US 21 if traffic conditions warrant.
South Carolina’s emergency helpline is now active around the clock. Anyone with questions related to Hurricane Florence should call the Public Information Phone System at 1-866-246-0133.
Up-to-date information about highways and road conditions can be found at https://www.scdot.org/travel/stormResources.aspx.