GEORGETOWN COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Georgetown County authorities identified three areas within the county they are watching for the possibility of flooding as water moves toward the coast from further inland.
The Mingo Creek area, the areas around the Black River and the Pee Dee River are the three areas being watched, according to Georgetown County Emergency Management Division Manager Sam Hodge.
"These low-lying areas toward the center of the county are where we have the most flooding and the most concern," Hodge said. "What we're asking our residents to do if you live in those areas is to be very vigilant, know what's around you and be prepared to evacuate if the situation warrants."
Hodge says some have already evacuated and the county has performed rescues. He said the county has done flyovers of the area over the past few days and said they have a good handle on conditions from three days ago and again on Wednesday so they can judge the information.
Hodge said the key is that people be ready to evacuate if they are told to do so.
"That will be a local decision," Hodge said. "The governor, currently as of today, will not issue an evacuation order for Georgetown County. That is a local decision. It's very hard to do a blanket evacuation order when we're only talking about three or four small pockets of area across the county."
Three shelters are open in the county for evacuees:
- Pleasant Hill Elementary School, 127 Schoolhouse Drive, Georgetown
- Beck Recreation Center, 2030 Church Street, Georgetown
- Andrews Recreation Center, 209 South Maple Street, Andrews
Hodge says all roads are passable and they do not foresee any flooding in the Pawley's Island area Thursday,
For people with transportation needs, there is a pickup point at Browns Ferry Elementary School, he said.
He urged residents to not rely on social media, but rather credible sources like the news media and county authorities.
Hodge said there were questions about Highway 701 and 17.
"Who knows what two or three weeks down the road may bring, but I guarantee you, all the roads are passable," he said.
Earlier Thursday, county officials said Gov. Nikki Haley misspoke when she recommended evacuations for the Pawleys Island and City of Georgetown areas. Instead, the county issued an alert for areas along the Black River, Pee Dee River and Mingo Creek, Georgetown County spokesperson Jackie Broach said in a statement.
The county has issued special instructions for the Oatland and Dunbar communities only:
Due to flooding conditions and road closures, residents in the Dunbar and Oatland communities no longer have access to the highway system. Georgetown County Emergency Management is making transportation available for residents of these communities to travel across the flooded roadway to Browns Ferry Elementary School. While a mandatory evacuation order has not been issued, we do strongly encourage residents of the Oatland and Dunbar community to take this opportunity to evacuate. We will have vehicles routing through these communities to pick up residents and transport them. If you do not see one of these vehicles, please call our Disaster Call Center at (843) 545-3273. They will arrange to have you picked up at your address.
If you wish to make your own arrangements for sheltering, please have someone meet you at Browns Ferry Elementary School to transport you from there. If you wish to be taken to an emergency shelter, we will provide transportation. Pets can be transported from these communities but will not be allowed in emergency shelters.
Again, we strongly encourage you to take this opportunity to move to a safer location if you are in the Dunbar and Oatland communities.
Broach said there are still no mandatory evacuations in Georgetown County.
Authorities in the county say anyone with questions about potential flood threats should call the Georgetown County Disaster Call Center at (843) 545-3273.