Hurricane Matthew Should See Myrtle Beach Impact 5 A.M. Tomorrow
UPDATE: EFFECTIVE 11 a.m. today MYRTLE BEACH IS OFFICIALLY UNDER A HURRICANE WARNING
The Myrtle Beach Impact of weather from Hurricane Matthew will begin in force at 5 a.m. Saturday, October 8th.
The storm is now in Florida with winds of 115 miles per hour. Myrtle Beach can expect peak winds of 85 miles per hour. Projections have Matthew as a category 1 Hurricane when it passes the Myrtle Beach area.
The main issues associated with Matthew will be storm surge, rain, and coastal flooding. Storm surge is the effect of rapidly rising waters to those living closest to the Ocean. Governor Haley has asked all who live east of Highway 17 to evacuate the beach. Storm surge with Matthew is forecast-ed to be 11 feet of rapidly rising water. In a press conference yesterday, Governor Haley warned that storm surge from Matthew would exceed that of Hurricane Hugo, which did hundreds of millions of property damage to Myrtle Beach in 1989.
STORM SURGE – WHAT IS IT?
VIDEO OF STORM SURGE FROM RECENT HURRICANE HERMINE – A MUCH WEAKER STORM
Is there an evacuation underway?
Governor Haley issued an evacuation order effective October 6 at 12:00 Noon for Zone “A” in Horry County. Zone “A” in Myrtle Beach encompasses all areas east of U.S. 17 Business (Kings Highway), up to intersection with U.S. 17 (Kings Highway) and then all areas east of U.S. 17 (Kings Highway) to the northern county line.
What happens if I don’t evacuate?
If you are in Zone “A”, the Governor’s evacuation order affects you and we strongly urge you to follow it. While we will not go door to door forcing evacuations, by not evacuating you may place yourself in real danger. If the community experiences very high winds and/or severe flooding of roadways, it could be that we may not be able to get to you should you suddenly find yourself in an emergency situation.
What if I need assistance evacuating?
City residents can contact our Emergency Operations Center Public Phone Line at 843-281-3705 and we will get you in contact with the appropriate agency to help you out.
Will I be able to still get into Myrtle Beach with the evacuation in effect?
The evacuation route for Myrtle Beach is Highway 17 to SC Highway 501 or 544 to I-95. You will see law enforcement personnel along Highway 17 at certain points monitoring the traffic flow. There are no plans to restrict the direction of travel for anyone or restrict personnel from entering the city. Our law enforcement presence will be obvious and alert to persons entering the city. We are there to direct evacuees along the correct evacuation route, and to assist the public as a whole. We will also patrol all areas of the city prior to, during and following the storm.
What is the Post-Hurricane Re-Entry Procedure for Myrtle Beach?
- Before anyone is allowed to re-enter Myrtle Beach, officials will first assess the community for damage. If areas are unsafe, re-entry to them will not be allowed until they have been made safe again. Whenever possible, the City will allow re-entry to areas of the City that are safe and have not been damaged. Our consistent goal is always to work to get property owners and business owners back into the community so that we can all contribute to recovery and a resumption of our normal way of life.
- When reentering the city of Myrtle Beach after a hurricane, property owners, renters and business owners should be prepared to show either their driver’s license, a copy of a recent water bill or property tax bill, a rental agreement, or other form of identity that proves residency or property ownership within the city.
- Owners of businesses with employees who do not reside within the city limits but are essential to recovery of a business should provide those employees with a letter written on company letterhead identifying them as being essential to the recovery of the business. When identifying an employee, please use their name as it is shown on their driver’s license so that authorities can match the two for verification.
- The City of Myrtle Beach does not require filing residency or business information prior to a storm.
During the Storm
- Police and Fire/Rescue personnel may have to come off the road temporarily when sustained high winds and/or severe flooding present a clear danger to them.
- Moveable swing bridges in the coastal areas will be locked down for use by vehicle traffic only as soon as sustained winds reach 25 mph. No openings will be made for nautical traffic until the winds subside.
- Drivers of motor vehicles are encouraged to use extreme caution when sustained winds reach speeds of 30 mph on high rise bridges. On some high rise bridges, sustained winds or wind gusts of 40 mph and more can be extremely unsafe for travel. It is always law enforcement’s prerogative to temporarily bar travel over bridges when conditions are considered to be too dangerous.
- Severe storm surge will accompany this hurricane. Matthew has the real capacity to damage water lines. The City retains the option to shut down water service to properties where that infrastructure is threatened. This would be done only as a last resort or preventive measure to preserve infrastructure and to ensure that adequate pressure can be maintained throughout the City’s water system.
- Santee Cooper could elect to shut off power in selected locations, depending on storm impact.
Is it okay for people to drive around town during the hurricane?
- Don’t. Roads may be flooded, wind-driven debris may be flying through the air, trees may fall on to roads, live electrical wires may come down. You place yourself in real danger when you drive around during a hurricane, and you place an extra, completely unnecessary burden on law enforcement personnel, who have many other real issues and emergencies on which to focus.
Does the City have sandbags available for the public to use?
- The City does not have sandbags available for the public to use.
What are a few of the easier things I can do around my house before the storm hits?
- Secure your trash can in advance of the storm.
- Secure outdoor furniture and other unsecured objects. If the wind is strong enough, these things can become “missiles” that can cause damage to property or people.