Hurricane Florence ripped through the Carolinas a week ago, but it seems the aftermath won’t subside.
Flooding is still a major threat to coastal areas. Around 7,000 Horry and Georgetown county residents were told to prepare for evacuations ahead of flooding, which is expected to begin Tuesday.
This could bring a record 10 feet of water around the Pee Dee and Waccamaw Rivers. Flooding could be worse in areas where the Pee Dee and Little Pee Dee Rivers converge.
Derrec Becker, chief of public information at South Carolina Emergency Management Division, said official evacuations could come in the next couple of days. Becker asks people to monitor local weather reports and take precautions seriously.
Becker said residents might not be able to evacuate if they wait for the flood waters to be at their doorstep. While major roads are beginning to open, secondary roads are going to be a problem area for people waiting to evacuate.
Not only are rising water levels a concern, but the unknown contaminants flowing through it pose issue. People are advised not to play or walk through flood waters.
“Fecal bacteria, hazardous chemicals, and anything that’s in the garbage or under the sink could potentially be in those waters,” Becker warned. Like past hurricane events, people exposed to these materials could become ill or even die.
There are two shelters open for evacuees in Horry and Georgetown counties, which can hold 5,000 people in total. However, Becker said that the shelters are only occupied by about 250 residents.
Residents should expect the rivers to reach flood level by Thursday, and the threat will continue until the waters recede.
Those in affected areas can download the official SCEMD app to ease the stress of flooding. Users can create emergency plans, track supplies and contact loved ones.