Matthew: Schools in most of Horry open Monday, Columbus Tuesday

Gov. Pat McCrory, above from left, visits with Fair Bluff leaders including town councilman Randy Britt, county commissioner Ricky Bullard, Fair Bluff Fire/Rescue Assistant Chief Matt Turner, and FBFR Chief Travis Causey. Below, firefighters from Ocean Isle Beach and Franklinville prepare to draw water from Main Street to fight a house fire there; others from among six out-of-county departments responding to that blaze use a saw to ventilate the roof. (Deuce Niven photos)


UPDATE: Saturday evening
By DEUCE NIVEN
 
    Students will return to classes most of the Horry County schools Monday, all of the Columbus County Schools on Tuesday, school district officials have announced.
     Green Sea Floyds Elementary and GSF Middle-High School may not re-open Monday, a decision on those openings expected Sunday afternoon, the school district said.
    A decision on the Whiteville City Schools is also expected Sunday.
    Classes resume at Southeastern Community College on Monday.
    Bus routes on both sides of the state line will be impacted by road closings brought on by flood waters from Hurricane Matthew last weekend. Questions on bus route adjustments in the Green Sea Floyds attendance area should be directed to 843-392-3134; in the Loris attendance area to 843-390-6822.

    Updates will continue to be posted here as events warrant.

UPDATE: Saturday

    
Relief supplies for churches and other charitable organizations continued arriving in parts of Columbus County hardest hit by flooding a week after Hurricane Matthew brought it’s deluge to the region.
    “We just want to do something to help,” Pastor Nate Strapman of Hope Community Church in Wilmington said after dropping donated clothing at Families First in Tabor City, before moving on to Fair Bluff with non-perishable foods and toiletries in that hard-hit community.
    Distribution points in the hardest hit areas, including Fair Bluff, are not accepting clothing donations, but the rest is welcome, emergency officials there said.
    Fair Bluff Fire/Rescue continued coordinating relief efforts for more than 450 people, about half the town’s population that has not been evacuated as a result of flooding from the swollen Lumber River on the county’s western edge.
    Firefighters from Nakina Fire/Rescue and Old Dock Fire departments were involved in similar efforts on the Waccamaw River at the county’s southeastern border Saturday, checking on the welfare of river residents with all road access cut off, and delivering supplies such as food and water.
    Columbus County offices, closed all of this week as a result of the hurricane, will re-open Monday, county manager Bill Clark said.

Travel
    Getting around the region got a little bit tougher Saturday, especially for those trying to get to the Grand Strand from the Tabor City area.
    SC 905 was closed between SC 9 and SC 22 Saturday, rising flood waters eliminating an alternate route many had been using with northbound lanes of SC 9 closed for days due to flooding. Southbound lanes of SC 9 remained open Saturday, the SC DOT said on its website.
    U.S. 701 remains closed between Loris and Conway, washed out during the hurricane last weekend, and with U.S. 76 closed by flooding at Nichols, SC 917 or SC 410 to SC 22 appeared to be good good alternates for those trying to get out of the county to the west, SC 410 to SC 22 an option for getting to the Grand Strand.
    Columbus County road closings include:
    •    NC 11 closed at the Bladen County line
    •    US 74 closed at the Robeson County line
    •    NC 130 closed at the Brunswick County line
    •    NC 211 open in Columbus and Bladen Counties
    •    Take US 701 North to NC 87 North to I-95 to go North from Columbus County
    •    Take US 701 South to Highway 9 in South Carolina and travel to Florence, SC to go to I-95 South
    •    Take NC 87 to US 401 in Fayetteville and go 401 South to Laurinburg to US 74 to go West on US 74  

PODs
    Military style MRE’s, water and tarps are still available at ten locations in the county, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, for those who have been impacted by the store but remained in their homes. Those points of distribution (PODs) include:
    •    Chadbourn Fire Department
    •    Evergreen Fire Department
    •    Fair Bluff S&L Funeral Home
    •    Cerro Gordo Fire Department
    •    Hallsboro Fire Department
    •    Lake Waccamaw Fire Department
    •    N701 Flea Market Whiteville – Salvation Army Feeding Site
    •    North Whiteville Fire Department
    •    Old Dock Fire Department
    •    Tabor City Fire Department

UPDATE: Friday evening

    A visit by Gov. Pat McCrory to this flood ravaged town did little to disrupt ongoing support and recovery efforts.
    Moments after the governor told volunteers manning a supply depot set up inside a building that also houses S&L Funeral Home, fire trucks from six out-of-county agencies raced past on the way to a house fire just around the corner, on a flooded section of Main Street, where power had been restored earlier in the day.
    It was tough to watch, Fair Bluff Fire/Rescue Assistant Chief Matt Turner said.
    “This is our town,” Turner said. “I just want to get in there and fight it. But we really appreciate those departments that have come to help.”
    Water levels are receding in Fair Bluff, Mayor Billy Hammond said. Gov. McCrory, after flying over the town twice by helicopter, said the damage is massive.
    “I can tell you this is one of the three worse I’ve seen,” McCrory said. “Princeville, Lumberton, and you.”
    Evelyn Waddell, a retired firefighter who lives just blocks away from that supply depot, embraced the governor as eh promised help.
    “I will be taking this message back to Raleigh,” McCrory said. “Help is coming.”
    Waddell said that help is needed, even as the community helps itself.
    “I had to come out and help,” Waddell said. “It’s 30 minutes around and just a few blocks from my house, but I got the cabin fever and I had to come out and help.”
    Gov. McCrory visited Whiteville before his visit to Fair Bluff, his Army National Guard helicopter touching down in the Columbus Career and College Academy parking lot, his Highway Patrol caravan rolling by the former Fair Bluff Elementary School gym. Inside Columbus County Schools personnel were making the gym ready to accept evacuees who have been housed in the American Red Cross managed shelter six miles away at West Columbus High School in Cerro Gordo.
    That shelter is slated to close Sunday, its evacuees moved to Fair Bluff, County Manager Bill Clark said Friday.
    The county’s other shelter, at Edgewood Elementary School in Whiteville, is also slated to close during the weekend.
    Town leaders said recovery will be long, water nearly four-feet deep in the downtown business district not expected to move off the street for another three weeks.
    Still, they pointed to struggling neighbors to the north.
    “You need to look at Boardman,” town councilman Randy Britt told the governor. “They’re flooded by the Lumber, just like we are, it’s bad up there.”
    “We’ve got to take a look, there,” Gov. McCrory said to an aide.
    Elsewhere in Columbus County Friday:
•    Decisions were made to re-open Southeastern Community College at 8 a.m. Monday for all students and staff; and to re-open the Columbus County Schools for 12-month employees only, students and 10-month employees to be out of school at least on Monday. A decision on Whiteville City Schools is expected during the weekend.
•    Power, cell phone service from at least one provider, and municipal water service were restored Friday. Some of those services were restored Thursday, then lost. Power has still not been restored to some flooded areas.
•    Land line and cell phone service lost to an equipment problem at a CenturyLink office in Whiteville Thursday night was restored partially overnight, completely about mid-morning Friday.
•    Water levels on the flooded Waccamaw River were also receding Friday, with arrangements to supply food, water and other supplies to residents cut-off by high water being made, Clark said.
•    Salvation Army and NC Forest Service feeding stations remained operational in the county at ten sites, Clark said, down from 15 earlier in the week.

UPDATE: Friday early afternoon
   
Public schools in Columbus County may be open Tuesday, with 12-month staff told to report Monday as some semblance of normalcy, or what may be a new normal for some time, inched nearer on Friday.
    Southeastern Community College was set to re-open for the first time since Hurricane Matthew struck at 8 a.m. Monday, and Whiteville City Schools were planning a delayed opening for the same day, Columbus County Manager Bill Clark said.
    Gov. Pat McCrory was expected to fly into Fair Bluff this afternoon, after visiting other flood damaged areas elsewhere in the state.
    Rivers in the county, both the Lumber in the west, Waccamaw in the east, were receding Friday, though both will remain well above flood stage for some time, as long as three weeks in Fair Bluff where downtown is under about four-feet of water.
    Power, cell phone service and municipal water was back on in Fair Bluff Friday. They were partially restored Thursday, but were partially out overnight before being restored in most areas Friday. Power was not expected to be restored in flooded areas until after those waters recede.
    Population levels were steady at both shelters today. The Edgewood Elementary shelter is expected to close during the weekend.
    The West Columbus High School shelter is expected to move from Cerro Gordo to the gym at the former Fair Bluff Elementary School beginning about 8 a.m. Sunday.
    Food, water and other supply distribution arrangements are being made for Crusoe area residents on the Waccamaw River whose homes are mostly accessible by boat for now.
    Power outages in the county are almost zero.
    An equipment issue with CenturyLink in its Whiteville office that disrupted both land-line and cell phone service through much of the county Thursday night was partially resolved overnight, and completely resolved by about 10 a.m. today.
    Salvation Army and NC Forest Service feeding stations remain operational in the county, but reduced, with ten open today, down from 15 earlier this week.

UPDATE: Thursday afternoon
    An equipment failure at a CenturyLink telephone office in Whiteville has impacted both land-line and cell phone service through much of Columbus County, county Emergency Services Director Kay Worley said Thursday night.
    Problems began about 4 p.m., initially impacting cell phone service in the Tabor City area, Worley said.
    Cell phone service in Whiteville failed about 8 p.m., Worley said.
    Calls to Columbus County’s 911 center are being diverted to Bladen County, Worley said.
    That failure has impacted Internet connections on smart phones that have also lost cell service. Internet access through cable TV providers did not appear to be impacted.
    CenturyLink, in a news release, said “Anyone with an emergency located in Whiteville, Tabor City, Lake Waccamaw or Chadbourn should drive to the nearest police or fire station.” The phone company said “technicians are working to restore services as quickly as possible.”

UPDATE: Thursday afternoon

    Municipal water and cellular telephone service was restored here Thursday, as disaster and rescue agencies supplemented local teams managing disastrous that promised to linger for weeks.
    It may be three weeks before floodwaters from the swollen Lumber River recedes from the town’s Main Street business district, Fair Bluff Fire/Rescue incident commander Ken Elliott said.
    The weather service forecast Wednesday was for the river to rise up to 18 inches by about 9 p.m. Thursday, to hold steady for seven days, then to begin receding at a rate of about three inches per day.
    “My guestimate is that’s about three weeks to get off of Main Street,” Elliott said.
    Power was restored to portions of Fair Bluff Thursday, well ahead of earlier estimates, with crews from as far away from Michigan aiding Duke Power in that restoration effort.
    Paramedics from Randolph and Forsyth counties were assisting, and a water rescue team from the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Fire Department was in the water on flooded streets Thursday afternoon, making sure there were no stranded residents who wished to be evacuated.
    That team and firefighters were sent to some houses retrieving medication for residents who have already been evacuated for longer than they had envisioned.

Festivals
    Both Tabor-Loris Community festivals scheduled this weekend and next will go on, both expected to be noticeably different as a result of Hurricane Matthew.
    North Carolina Yam Festival at Tabor City directors Thursday voted to continue the scheduled Oct. 22 festival, but to cancel several preceding events, including the Taste of Tabor social gathering on Oct. 20, quality sweet potato and sweet potato food contests, and the sweet potato auction at which the winning sweet potatoes have typically brought $10,000 or more into festival coffers.
    Loris Bog-Off Festival officials had previously said they would carry on with this year’s festival this Saturday, but cancelled all of the related activities scheduled for earlier this week.
    Officials with both festivals said they expect to see fewer vendors, and fewer crowds, in part because assess to the area is limited with major highway disruptions resulting from hurricane and its waters. Some scheduled entertainment will also likely be scrapped.
    “We are still going forward,” Loris Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Samantha Norris said.  “We will do the very best we can and handle it as we need to.  Every one needs a day to get out and just have fun, relax, enjoy the festival and food, and feel a little normal.”
    Public schools, closed all this week in Columbus County, and since last Wednesday in Horry, were to provide some Bog-Off entertainment that will be scrapped, Norris said.
    Yam Festival leaders discussed options Thursday, including scrapping this year’s festival entirely. Attorney Richard Wright, one of the longest serving festival directors, recalled Hurricane Hazel, a much stronger hurricane that raked the region in 1954, one day before the old Carolinas Yam Festival in Tabor City. Leaders who helped build Tabor City didn’t let the storm get in the way of the festival, Wright said.
    “They had the parade,” Wright said. “There was not a lot in it. They had a goat pulling a wagon, with a sign that said ‘Hazel may have got our float, but she didn’t get our goat.”

Horry
    Horry County is beginning its recovery process in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, a county news release said. As a part of this process, the County has activated the debris management plan. Residents along county maintained roads are asked to place vegetative storm-generated debris on the public right-of-way immediately, as trucks will begin debris removal operations on Friday, October 14, 2016.
    The public right-of-way is the area of residential property that extends from the street to the sidewalk, ditch, utility pole or easement. The County’s curbside debris program will only remove vegetative debris (woody burnable debris such as limbs and shrubbery).  Bagged debris should not be placed on the public right-of-way, only loose debris will be collected.  Any construction & demolition or other debris resulting from Hurricane Matthew, should be taken to the Horry County Solid Waste Authority’s Landfill locate at 1886 Highway 90 in Conway.  
Do not place debris near water meter vault, fire hydrant or any other above-ground utility. Only vegetative debris placed on the public right-of-way will be eligible for collection until further notice.
    The County’s contracted crews will begin around the South Strand and Socastee areas.
    Cherck the Horry County website here for additional information and updates on the debris removal process

Fire ban
    Loris Fire Department has lifted the burn ban for the Loris Fire District which includes city and unincorporated areas, Lt. Robert Rudelitch said Thursday..  Only yard debris is allowed.  No trash or tires.  Below are requirements as adopted by our Fire Code. Residents in the unincorporated area are required to notify South Carolina Forest Commission before any outdoor yard debris fires.
    The location for open burning shall be not less 50 feet from any structure, and provisions shall be made to prevent the fire from spreading to within 50 feet of any structure.
    Exceptions:
    1.  Fire in approved containers that are not less than 15 feet from a structure
    2.  The minimum required distance from a structure shall be 25 feet where the pile size is 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height.

UPDATE: Thursday morning
By DEUCE NIVEN

    Rail service in Columbus and Horry counties into Marion County will be out for about a month as a result of Hurricane Matthew, an R.J. Corman Railroad Group Assistant Vice President said Thursday.
    Corman crews are experts in line restoration, with experience following Hurricane Katrina’s crippling blow to the Gulf Coast and last year’s historic flooding in South Carolina, Bill Henderson said. They are already at work restoring lines washed out by the flooding from Matthew, including two major washouts and dozens of smaller washouts along the line that stretches from Chadbourn in Columbus County, through Fair Bluff to the West and on to Nichols and Marion, through Tabor City and Loris south and on to Conway and Myrtle Beach.
    “We’ve flown over everything and we know where a lot of the damage is,” Henderson said. “Of course, there’s a lot that’s underwater that we can’t see yet. Our folks don’t just look at what they can see from above, they will get under bridges, they are thorough in what they do.”
    Corman opened its North and South Carolina operations in April after buying he former Carolina Southern Railroad late last year.
    “We are committed to the long-term success of this railroad and serving the area,” Henderson said. “We are in this for the long-haul, and want to make this one of the premier short-line railroads in the United States. Right now, we want to exhibit the same spirit of teamwork that we are seeing in these communities, working together, rebuilding. Whatever it takes, we’re committed.
    “We want everyone to know that our hearts and prayers are with the people impacted by Hurricane Matthew.”

Supplies
    Military-style Meals Ready to Eat (MRE), bottled water and tarps are being distributed at more than a dozen locations across Columbus County in a North Carolina Forest Service coordinated effort.
    Residents were stopping by the Tabor City Fire Department Thursday morning, some asking for all three supplies, several seeking tarps only, one woman said she just needed to cover her damaged roof until an insurance adjuster could arrive.
    Getting into Columbus County remained difficult Thursday, with no access to the west as the flooding Lumber River had closed US 74, US 76, and NC 904 at the county line.

Update: Wednesday
    Water continued to rise on the Lumber River in Columbus County’s hardest hit area in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, and seemed to be holding steady on the Waccamaw River, County Manager Bill Clark said Wednesday.
    More than half of Fair Bluff’s population fled the rising flood waters earlier in the week, virtually all of tiny Boardman found shelter elsewhere, including at the American Red Cross Shelter at West Columbus High School.
    “We still have 150 at West Columbus,” Clark said. “It looks like that could go on two weeks, or longer there.
    Only 32 remain at the shelter at Edgewood Elementary School in Whiteville, and Clark said those people should be able to go home by this weekend, perhaps earlier.
    Travel outside of the county remained difficult, especially to the west, with U.S. 74 at Boardman, U.S. 76 and NC 904 at Fair Bluff closed to westbound traffic, Clark said. NC 130 is also closed to the west, Clark said.
    Detours are in place around other major highways, including U.S. 701 at Western Prong, where the roadway collapsed, repairs expected to take months, Clark said.
    A donation site established Tuesday at the Historic Columbus County Courthouse is accepting, and distributing non-perishable food, water, cleaning supplies, and toiletries, Clark said. Donations of clothing were stopped, Clark said, with the county unable to handle those items.
    Salvation Army food and water supplies were being distributed to fire departments in the county Wednesday, to be provided to citizens in need, Clark said.
    Power restoration efforts were continuing, only about a dozen Brunswick Electric customers still dark, less than 100 Four County Electric customers, and Duke Energy reporting about 6,500 still without electricity.
    That includes all of Fair Bluff, where water or power issues have left the community without cell phone service since Tuesday. A Verizon effort to restore that service apparently failed when a truck overturned Wednesday. No one was hurt, and Clark said he had no details on that incident.
    Lake Waccamaw Town Government, responding to a large number of questioning phone calls, issued a statement Wednesday saying that the lake’s dam had not breached, and that there is no evacuation of town residents underway.

Horry
    Horry County continued to brace for major flooding on the Waccamaw River that may rival that of a year ago, a county government news release said.
    Based on river forecasts, the Waccamaw River is expected to crest at 16.9 feet on Sunday which means roads that previously flooded after the hurricane, could become impassable once again.
    Highway 501 near Galivants Ferry is open.
    Highway 9 at the Waccamaw River should be monitored and could become impassable with the rising river levels.
    The Little Pee Dee River has leveled off and is not expected to increase further.
    Individuals along the river that need assistance can reach out to law enforcement at the 24 river checkpoints listed below or call Emergency Management at 843-915-5150.
     Due to flooding, security checkpoints are being established by the Horry County Police along the Waccamaw & Little Pee Dee Rivers as follows:
Bucksville Landing–Landing Rd. Conway
Cox Ferry Rd.-Conway
Dead Ridge Road
Drowning Creek Drive
Ed Smith Ave.-Myrtle Beach
Folly Rd.-Myrtle Beach
Grey Oaks Rd.-Conway
Highway 76 @ Sand Plant Road
Highway 76 @ Howard Road
Huggins Landing Road
Hughes Landing
Jackson Bluff Rd.-Conway
Lees Landing Rd. (north end)-Conway
Lees Landing Rd.-Conway
Luck Road (end)
Old Camp Road
Pee Dee road near Floyd Page Road
Pitch Landing Rd.-Conway
Riverside Dr.-Conway
River Rd.–Myrtle Beach
Rosewood Dr.-Myrtle Beach
Savannah Bluff–Waccamaw Dr.-Conway
Shady Grove
Smith Blvd.- Myrtle Beach
    The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources will continue boat patrols on flooded rivers.
    There are 101+ road closures mostly due to flooding. Those closures are posted here.  Please check the lists often as the flooding can cause frequent changes.
    The Horry County Emergency Operations Center Phone Bank has received 7,660 calls regarding Hurricane Matthew to date.
    Although the state burning ban has been lifted, Horry County Fire Rescue HIGHLY discourages any burning at least through the end of the weekend.
    Those needing assistance are urged to contact:
Impact Ministries for homeowners with trees on their homes and/or water/mud in their homes.  For more information, call them at 843-915-5908 or visit them online at http://www.goimpactmb.org/disasterrelief
2-1-1 One-stop resource for finding assistance.  This resource run by the United Way of Horry County is available 24/7 by calling 211, 1-866-892-9211 or by visiting them online at http://www.sc211.org/ .
Catholic Charities 1-855-377-1357
Salvation Army 843-488-2769
     For additional needs/concerns, call Horry County Emergency Management 843-915-5150.
    Horry County has activated its debris management plan and will begin picking up residential tree/yard debris on county maintained roads and in public subdivisions on county maintained roads. At this time, pick-up is not available for residents along private roads and private communities.  For those properties that are currently flooded due to the rivers, tree/yard debris pick-up on county maintained roads will begin in those areas once the rivers recede.  Horry County will release a more detailed pick-up schedule in the coming days.
    See all of our hurricane and aftermath coverage on this website, with unlimited access this week.

UPDATE: Tuesday
    A Tabor City man became Columbus County’s only fatality attributed to Hurricane Matthew on Tuesday, his body recovered nearly two days after family members last saw him headed home, Columbus County Assistant Corner William Hannah said.
    Meanwhile, public schools in Columbus County  will remain closed at least through the rest of this week, as flooding continues to force evacuations and power companies work to restore electricity, both Duke Power and Brunswick Electric making marked progress, power restored to about half of Tabor City late Monday afternoon, and to sections of Whiteville Tuesday morning.
     Horry County Schools will remain closed today and Wednesday, with no decisions announced regarding the rest of the week. (Note: This corrects an earlier report that the Horry County Schools were closed for the rest of the week.)
     Danny Gale Chestnut, 70, of Swamp Fox Hwy East in the Nakina community, was found about 50 yards from where his abandoned pick-up truck was found at Gore’s Chapel in Nakina, Hannah said.
    Chestnut was last seen about 5:30 p.m. Sunday, when he left the home of family members on the way to his house. His truck was found Monday.
    Dive teams searched the swollen swamp that overran the roadway on Monday, without success. They returned Monday morning and located Chestnut’s body.
    It appears that Chestnut’s truck was swept off the roadway by high water that covered it, and that Chestnut got out and walked into the woods, Hannah said.
    Hannah ruled the cause of death as accidental drowning, the only storm related fatality in the county, he said. An autopsy was not ordered.
    In Loris, city leaders Tuesday encouraged residents who suffered structural damage to their homes, to visit city hall to begin the process of seeking assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
    Mayor Henry Nichols, City Administrator Dameon Kempski, Loris PD Lt. Gary Buley, and Fire Chief Jerry Hardee made the announcement during a news conference.
    American Red Cross and the Salvation Army are setting up a feeding station across from the Public Safety Building in Loris. A charging station for people who need to recharge phones and other electronic devices was also established in the parking lot next to the police department.
    Loris Fire responded to 112 calls since Matthew approached on Friday, Hardee said.
    SLED Agents have responded to the city to assist the police department, Buley said.
    Water bills that were due Friday will be accepted as residents can, with all late fees waived for bills paid by the end of this month, Nichols said.
    Open house at the Loris Fire Department will go on as planned from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Lt. Robert Rudelitch said. Staff will be available to answer usual questions, and those related to hurricane recovery, Rudelitch said. A burning ban remains in place in the Loris fire district and throughout Horry County.
   Look for more, here as condition warrants, and a roundup in this week’s Tabor-Loris Tribune.

UPDATE: Monday night
    Danny Chestnut, A Nakina man, has been reported missing by family members who believe he may be a victim of Hurricane Matthew, Capt. Greg Sibbett of the Tabor City Police Department said.
     Chestnut was headed home from a family member’s house about 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Sibbett said. He never made it home. His truck was found Monday morning at Gore’s Chapel in Nakina. Search and rescue teams, including dive teams, were in the swamp at Gore’s Chapel Monday afternoon, but had not been able to locate him near dusk, Sibbett said.

UPDATE: Monday
    Disastrous flooding from the Lumber River has inundated the downtown business district and dozens of residential neighborhoods, prompting an unprecedented evacuation of the town’s population, its city government and emergency personnel.
    Meanwhile, a curfew has been lifted in Horry County, will begin tonight in Loris, as damage assessments reach the millions. See the Horry Count update below.
    “We evacuated more than 300 people yesterday and last night,” Fair Bluff Fire/Rescue Assistant Chief Matt Turner said.
    “All told, I’d say that half the population has evacuated Fair Bluff,” Fire/Rescue member Ken Elliott said from the town’s makeshift command post in the parking lot of a funeral home on NC 904.
    Evacuations were also underway Monday afternoon in the River Road community and elsewhere along the Waccamaw River near Pireway, where water levels were also rising rapidly.
    Fair Bluff City Hall and Police Department, on Main Street; and the Fire/Rescue facility a block over, were flooded. Turner said the recently renovated Fire/Rescue building could be a total loss.
    So, too, might be much of the town’s business district, about a dozen stores just a few hundred feet away from the rising Lumber River, with up to four-feet of water inside already.
    To the east on U.S. 76, the main highway through town, Ford dealership Fair Bluff Motors and a Dollar General store sit in another low-lying area along the river, and were both flooded Monday. New cars and trucks on the lot had water as high as the bumpers on the tallest of those vehicles.
    “I’ve been here 65 years, and I’ve never seen anything like it,” William Wilson said as he looked at the car lot.”
    Just getting around the river town was difficult, reaching people asking to be evacuated just blocks away from the command post forcing a half-hour ride around the flooding and into South Carolina, Elliott said.
    Rescue boats from Fair Bluff, Tabor City, and Cerro Gordo fire departments were needed to get some people from water soaked homes. Others fled as the water neared their homes.
    “Water’s up four feet around our home,” Phyllis Elvington said just after being evacuated. “We had about an inch inside the house last night, but it’s receded some this morning.”
    “We’ve move our vehicles to higher ground,” husband Charles Elvington said. “But we couldn’t get them out of there.”
    “We’re refuges,” lifelong resident and Columbus Career and College Academy teacher Sherman Axelberg said from in front of her mother’s Main Street home, sitting above the flooded downtown district. “This is just heartbreaking,”
    All of the downtown businesses are owned by some of Fair Bluff’s older residents, most still operating those businesses, Axelberg said, leaving real questions about when, or if they will rebuild or re-open.
    Fair Bluff Baptist Church is also flooded, Axelberg said.
    “The fellowship hall was flooded Saturday, she said. “It’s in the sanctuary today.”
    A Salvation Army feeding station was on its way to Fair Bluff Monday morning, its arrival delayed by flood forced detours. Reinforcements from the North Carolina National Guard were also helping with evacuations.
    Help was arriving from elsewhere in North Carolina for fire, EMS and law enforcement operations Monday. Sheriff Lewis Hatcher said 20 deputies from Orange and Carteret counties, 11 jailers from Orange and Iredell counties, arrived with plans to stay through Wednesday, Hatcher said.
    “Sheriff Asa Buck came with is deputies from Carteret County,” Hatcher said.
    Fire and EMS reinforcements were also in the county Monday, though details on those deployments were not immediately available.
    Curfews and closings in place earlier this week remained in effect through Tuesday, at least, including a dusk-to-dawn curfew in Whiteville, public schools throughout the county closed Tuesday, as well as Southeastern Community College, county offices, and the courts system.
    Power is not expected to be restored to the entire city of Whiteville, where a Duke Energy substation in Soules Swamp is under water, before Oct. 16, city spokesman Hal Lowder said Monday.
    A new curfew was established for Loris Monday, effective at 6 p.m., and will remain in place each night until power is restored. Mayor Henry Nichols scheduled a news conference for Tuesday to discuss the city’s storm response.
    Loris Bog-Off Festival preliminary events planned for this week have all been cancelled, but the festival’s big day, this Saturday, remains on schedule, Loris Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Samantha Norris.
    Chamber leaders will continue to evaluate conditions during the week, but are hopeful Saturday’s events will take place as scheduled.
    In Columbus County, the County Fair remained on track to open Tuesday, though a parade earlier that day has been cancelled.

Horry update
    Here’s the latest update from Horry County government:
    There are no further curfews for unincorporated Horry County at this time.
    The City of Loris will have a curfew tonight from 6 p.m.until tomorrow morning at 6 a.m.
    Horry County Government will be open tomorrow, Oct. 11. However the following buildings will remain closed due to lack of electricity (this list may be subject to change if electrical services are restored):
•    All offices in the Blanton Building on 21st Ave. in Myrtle Beach
•    All offices in the Ralph Ellis Complex on Hwy 57 North in Little River (also known as Steven’s Crossroads)
•    Aynor Magistrate
•    Aynor Library
•    Bucksport Library
•    Conway Library
•    Green Sea Library
•    Little River Library
•    Loris Library
•    Loris Magistrate
•    Mt. Olive Magistrate
•    Museum
•    North Myrtle Beach Library
•    Veteran’s Affairs
    There will be no Circuit Court or Family Court hearings on Tuesday, October 11.
    All magistrate’s court, jury court and traffic court will be cancelled for the remainder of the week.
    All Common Pleas & General Sessions Jury trials for this week are postponed.
    Circuit Court jurors for this week have been excused.
    Currently there are 57 in the Beach Church shelter.
    As of 4:30 p.m. Monday, October 10, 2016, initial damage assessments in the unincorporated areas of Horry County include 553 structures, mainly residential properties.  These structures sustained minor damage, which is estimated at $16.5 million.  Damage assessments will continue.
    The Horry County Solid Waste Authority offices and recycling centers that were safely able are open today. Residents of unincorporated Horry County should utilize the recycling center closest to them to dispose of storm debris.  If your yard/tree debris is larger than six inches in diameter and four feet in length, you must bring the debris to the landfill located at 1886 Highway 90.  If you live within the limits of an incorporated municipality, you should contact municipal officials regarding their debris cleanup procedures.
149+ roads closed
      Properties along the Waccamaw River & Intracoastal Waterway are asked to monitor river levels closely as they are rising.  The rivers are currently at major flood stage and could continue to rise.  Flooding will be similar to the October 2015 floods.  Residents in these areas should prepare now if they plan on evacuating their property. For information or assistance, citizens in the City of Conway can call 843-488-7664 and Horry County residents should call 843-915-5150.
    Look for more, here as condition warrants, and a roundup in this week’s Tabor-Loris Tribune.

UPDATE: Sunday

    Sunday was neither a day of rest nor worship, at least in the traditional sense, as the Tabor-Loris Community and a broad area beyond began digging out and cleaning up from Hurricane Matthew.
    Sunday night will be another night to stay in, and in Whiteville that will be mandatory, with a dusk-to-dawn curfew, city spokesman Hal Lowder said.
    Rising water from the Lumber River proved more damaging to downtown Fair Bluff Sunday than the direct impact of wind and rain did on Saturday, which was plenty, as rising water and falling trees isolated the river town Saturday night.
    By Sunday afternoon Main Street was under nearly four feet of water, and National Guard troops arrived to assist with evacuations, dozens reportedly taken to the Red Cross Shelter at West Columbus High School, Columbus County Deputy Emergency Services Director David Ransom said.
    Additional firefighting and EMS crews were expected in Columbus County Monday, Ransom said, from areas in North Carolina not impacted by Matthew, Ransom said.
    “There coming just to give some of our people a break,” Ransom said. “They need it.”
    A curfew in unincorporated areas of Horry County will again be in place from 6 p.m. Sunday through 6 a.m. Monday.
    School and other closings will be widespread across the county, including the Columbus County Schools, Whiteville City Schools, Southeastern Community College, and the court system. County offices will be closed with non-essential personnel not reporting to work. Others, Ransom said, have been working all weekend.
    Most government offices in Horry County will also be closed Monday, with the exception of essential personnel. Circuit Court jurors summoned for this week have been excused, a county government news release said.
    Major flooding has cut Whiteville in half, Lowder said, leaving Duke Energy’s main substation in Soules Swamp underwater. Power won’t be restored anywhere in Whiteville until that dries out, Lowder said.
    Only property owners are being allowed into the downtown business district, which suffered heavy flooding, Lowder said.
    Daybreak brought clear skies, and brisk winds from the north, a parting gift from the monster storm that left thousands of reminders in the form of flooded homes and roads, fallen trees that damaged structures and tangled with power lines, leaving nearly every resident in Columbus County and the majority in Horry without power for varying amounts of time.
    Power and communications were the big issues Sunday, said Columbus County Emergency Services Director Kay Worley.
    Cell services was limited in much of the county much of the day, 4G service that allowed for Internet access via smart phones and other devices was out.
    That’s the backup to Internet access that this newspaper uses, and kept us from providing updates earlier today
    Getting power restored to everyone will take time, utilities not giving firm estimates. Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation’s connection to Duke Energy, which provides power to the cooperative serving much of Columbus County, was cut Saturday evening, delaying BECM’s restoration efforts, spokeswoman Heather Holbrook said in a news release Sunday.
    “Our priority is to restore power to our members as safely and quickly as possible to as many people as possible,” Holbrook said. “Despite our proactive planning and detailed preparation at all levels, we have experienced infrastructure damage. Losing our primary source of power was beyond our control and put a halt to our restoration process last night.
    “Crews will continue to work as quickly and safely as possible to restore power to all services on BEMC’s lines, an effort that is expected to extend beyond 24 hours.”
    At least two major highways were closed, U.S. 701 at Western Prong, and NC 410 near Beaverdam Road, Columbus County Emergency Services Director David Ransom said.
    “They put up barricades at 410,” Ransom said, “but people keep moving the barricades and going around. The DOT said that’s dangerous, that bridge is unsafe, and if something too heavy goes on it, it might not hold.”
    Worley said the primary issues are power and communications. Brunswick Electric Membership Corp. had reduced its outage rate from 98 percent to 55 percent by 5 p.m. Duke Energy Progress had 16,543 customers out due to 292 outages about 5 p.m.
    Clearing roads so that utility crews could begin their work was a big focus Sunday, Worley said. Dozens remained impassable in Columbus County, Worley said. In Horry County 163 roads were listed as closed or impassable by the county.
    Worley said damage estimates have not begun, due to being able to get out and make the assessments. Fair Bluff and Whiteville were particularly hard hit by flooding; both had a significant number of structures damaged.
    The storm delivered blows in two phases, as is typical with most hurricanes. The first was rain and water. When the wind shifted from the north, power outages followed.
    Two of the four shelters, East and South Columbus high schools, have closed. Edgewood Elementary in Whiteville, which is pet friendly, and West Columbus High School shelters are still open.
    As numbers of people in shelters in Horry County have diminished (971 as of 6 p.m. last night to just 468 as of noon Sunday), the seven area shelters are being consolidated. In addition, Beach Church located at 557 George Bishop Parkway, Myrtle Beach will open at 4 p.m. to serve as a shelter for potential river flooding residents.
    About two dozen people who took refuge Saturday night at a church in Fair Bluff were being transported to the shelter at West Columbus High School today.
    Gasoline was also an issue, due to the power outages. Fowler’s Supermarket, east of the Guideway community in the southeastern part of the county, was open with power and had a long line for fuel.
    Matthew’s legacy will be long-felt, Worley said.
    In Loris, Fords Fuel was the only place with gas pumps running Sunday morning, leading to long lines for fuel there.
    Properties owners along the Waccamaw River & Intracoastal Waterway are asked to monitor river levels closely as they are rising fast. The rivers are currently at major flood stage and could continue to rise. Flooding will be similar to the October 2015 floods. Residents in these areas should prepare now if they plan on evacuating their property. For information or assistance, citizens in the City of Conway can call 843-488-7664 and Horry County residents should call 843-915-5150.
    All Horry County Waste Authority offices and recycling centers were closed Sunday. Those that are safely able to open will do so during their normal hours Monday, a count news release said. Residents of unincorporated Horry County should utilize the recycling center closest to them to dispose of storm debris. If your yard/tree debris is larger than six inches in diameter and four feet in length, you must bring the debris to the landfill located at 1886 Highway 90. Those who live within the limits of an incorporated municipality, you should contact municipal officials regarding their debris cleanup procedures.
    “We’re just getting started,” Worley said of the recovery effort. “This is going to take a year.”

UPDATE: Saturday evening
    A curfew is in effect for unincorporated areas of Horry County through 6 a.m. Sunday, and again from 6 p.m. Sunday through 6 a.m. Monday.
    Power outages are going to one of the long-term legacies of Hurricane Matthew, with widespread outages in Columbus and Horry counties as the lasts bursts of high winds from the monster storm began to subside Saturday evening.
    In Columbus County BEMC was reporting all of its 12,380 customers were without power, more than 12,000 of Duke Energy’s 16,500 customers were also in the dark.
    Horry Electric was reporting 90 percent of its customers without power, Santee-Cooper about 40 percent out.
    Emergency crews were using resources in both counties responding to emergencies from people on the roadways, despite dozens of road closings caused by flooding and fallen trees.
    In Columbus County sections of U.S. 701, U.S. 76, U.S. 74, NC 904, NC 905, and dozens of secondary roads were closed.
    It was no better in Horry County, with sections of U.S. 701, SC 9, and highways 906, 501, 378, and 90 impassable.
    Stay off the roads was the consistent message from leaders across the area.
    Please do not go out unless it is a necessity,” Columbus County Sheriff Lewis Hatcher said in a Facebook Post. “There are many roads that are flooded and impassable. Do not call 911 unless it is an emergency! The Columbus County Emergency Operations Center can address your questions and concerns about flooded roads, shelters, and downed trees in roadways. The Operations Center’s phone numbers are 910-642-7684 and 910-642-8193.”
    Horry County government offered a series of safety tips in a news release, appropriate on either side of the state line
  When you see downed lines, stay away from them and report them to your utility provider.
•    Lines do not have to be sparking to be live. 
•    Any utility wire, including phone or cable lines, sagging or down, could be in contact with an energized power line making them very dangerous.
•    Tree limbs or debris can hid an electrical hazard. 
•    Down power lines can energize items such as chain link fences and metal culverts.
•    Avoid walking around at night when you will not be able to see downed lines.
    Look below for details on evacuations, shelters, and our coverage since earlier this week.
    Additional information will be posted here as conditions warrant.


UPDATE: Late Saturday afternoon
    Conditions have deteriorated in Columbus County Saturday afternoon, with winds shifting to from the north an picking up speed, numerous roadways blocked by flooding. U.S. 701 remains closed at New Hope, south of Whiteville, by flooding. NC 904 east of Tabor City, near Peacock Road is closed by multiple trees across the roadway.
    U.S. 76 between Chadbourn and Cerro Cerro Gordo is shut down by flooding. Numerous secondary highways are also closed by high water, some washing pavement out.
    Multiple roadways are closed in Horry County, including US 701 south of Loris and Broad Street at Maple Street in Loris.
    Power outages were becoming widespread in western sections of the county, more than 7,000 county wide reported by Duke Energy, more than 6,600 reported by Brunswick Electric Membership Corp. In Horry County more than 60,000 customers were without power.

UPDATE: Saturday afternoon
    “Do not get on the roads unless it is an emergency.”
    That’s the urgent message from Columbus County Emergency Services Director Kay Worley, with Hurricane Matthew on track to dump 15 inches, maybe more, of rain throughout Columbus County.
    Conditions were not better in Horry County, with dozens of roadways either impassable or nearly so. U.S. 701 in the New Hope area was shut down Saturday morning, overrun with water, not expected to open until very late Sunday, perhaps into Monday, Worley said.
    U.S. 701 at Maple Street in Loris was also shutdown, flood waters on Maple Street flowing into some homes there.
    Rapidly rising flood waters were forcing evacuations of dozens of homes, including Stanley Circle near Whiteville, low-lying areas near Chadbourn, and elsewhere across the county, Worley said.
    “At this point I don’t have any idea how many homes have been evacuated,” Worley said. “It’s a lot.”
    Despite those evacuations, shelter numbers were not rising, Worley said. At 1 p.m. there were 48 people and two dogs in the county’s only pet-friendly shelter at Edgewood Elementary in Whiteville. At South Columbus High there were 23 people seeking refuge, 31 at West Columbus, just 7 at East Columbus, Worley said.
    In Horry County 932 people were in shelters Saturday morning.
    Power companies were getting a handle on outages, with Matthew not bringing strong winds, yet, Worley said. Duke Energy was reporting 1,818 Columbus County residents without power, Brunswick Electric just 59, Worley said. In Horry County more than 12,000 residents were without power, with Myrtle Beach recording 60 MPH wind gusts.
    Strong winds have been reported on the back side of Matthew, a NWS statement said, up to 70 MPH at Charleston.
    “We can’t let our guard down with the wind on the backside of the storm even though it doesn’t look as bad on radar,” the statement said.
    Look below for details on evacuations, shelters, and our coverage since earlier this week.
    Additional information will be posted here as conditions warrant.

UPDATE: Saturday morning
    Hurricane Matthew’s torrential rain reached the Tabor-Loris Community this morning, his center near Charleston at 8 a.m., flash flood warnings issued for Columbus and Horry counties, storm surge warnings on the coast, tornado watches and warnings throughout the region.
    A tornado that began as a waterspout touched down in North Myrtle Beach before 8 a.m., damaging at least two homes in the area of 18th Avenue North and Ocean Boulevard, possible taking out some light poles, city spokesman Pat Dowling said. No injuries were reported.
    Inland heavy rain was beginning to flood low lying areas, with the National Weather Service reporting “life threatening flash flooding likely.”
    Trees were reported down in eastern sections of Columbus County Saturday morning, and emergency officials were urging people to stay off roads, essentially all day.
    Shelters remained open in Columbus and Horry counties, including South, West and East Columbus high schools and Edgewood Elementary in Whiteville, the latter the only pet-friendly shelter in the county. Shelters in Horry County included Loris High and Green Sea Floyds Middle High.
    National Weather Service radar indicated from six to eight inches of rain already fallen south of Darlington to Nichols and Little River. Wind threats remained high at the coast, moderate inland, the NWS said.
    Rainfall totals from 10 to 15 inches are likely, with rain tapering off this evening, inland first, then along the coast, the NWS said.

UPDATE: Friday evening
    “Rainfall forecast has increased significantly,” the National Weather Service said in its latest Hurricane Matthew projection early Friday evening.
    Rainfall totals widespread in the region are expected to exceed a foot, and could reach 15 inches, the NWS said.
    A Hurricane Warner remains in effect for the coastal Carolinas, from Surf City in North Carolina to the South Santee River in South Carolina.
    Inland counties in the region are under a Tropical Storm warning.
    Dryer air getting into the monster storm was weakening it, the NWS said, with Matthew expected at Category 1 status as it skirts the Carolinas coast Saturday into Sunday, with torrential rains likely beginning late tonight, well into Sunday, before the storm turns east, and then south, on Sunday.
    With the weather generally calm, only a handful of people had taken advantage of the American Red Cross shelters open at South, East and West Columbus high schools, and at Edgewood Elementary in Whiteville, Columbus County Emergency Services Director Kay Worley said.
    South Columbus High was the most utilized of the four county shelters Friday night, Worley said. Residents and staff signed into those shelters Friday evening were:
•    South Columbus High – 20 residents, 5 staff
•    West Columbus – 12 residents, 10 staff
•    East Columbus – 4 residents, 8 staff
•    Edgewood Elementary, Whiteville – 9 residents, 10 staff
    Two dogs were at the pet friendly shelter at Edgewood, Worley said, the first time that has been offered in Columbus County. That was possible because of a Companion Animal Mobile Equipment Trailer awarded to the county by the N.C. Department of Public Safety, Columbus County Animal Control Director Joey Prince said.
    “Volunteers from the Columbus Humane Society are staffing the pet area of the evacuation center,.” Prince said. “They are completing the intake forms as well as the monitoring of the animals.”

UPDATE: Friday afternoon
    Potential for life threatening flood conditions was escalating in the 5 p.m. storm track and rainfall projections as Hurricane Matthew continued its slow trek towards the Carolinas Friday afternoon.
    Rainfall projections for the weekend were pegged between 13 and 14 inches in the Tabor-Loris Community (TLC), storm surge exceeding four feet on the coast, with tropical storm force winds a near certainty Saturday well into inland sections of Columbus and Horry counties.
    Matthew nearest approach to the TLC was not expected until Saturday evening, its forecast 2 p.m. position Saturday still south of the Grand Strand. Forecasters were still uncertain of the storm’s precise path, with landfall still a possibility, with a right-turn out to see still forecast late Saturday into Sunday. That turn could take place near the Carolina’s border, of much further north, with increasing probabilities of a significant impact on North Carolina’s Outer Banks appearing likely Friday.
    Power outages are expected as a result of the storm, utility and public safety officials said repeatedly Friday. Thousands of power company crews were staged and ready to response as soon as storm conditions subside enough to make that work safe.
    President Obama Friday afternoon declared 66 eastern North Carolina counties as disaster areas, allowing for the rapid movement of disaster supplied and equipment into the area. A similar declaration had not been made for South Carolina at 5 p.m. Friday.
    “I urged our federal partners to move quickly on this request for assistance, and they did,” North Carolina Gov. McCrory said Friday afternoon. “This declaration makes federal resources available to help local and state government agencies respond to the potential disaster and gives quick access to stockpiles of disaster supplies like bottled water and meals that FEMA has already staged at Fort Bragg.”
    Half of the disaster shelters opened in Horry County on Wednesday were closed Friday, put on stand-by status with supply so far greatly exceeding demand. Five schools in Loris and Green Sea were serving as shelters, two remained Friday, Loris and Green Sea Floyds high schools.
    Four shelters opened in Columbus County at 2 p.m. Friday, including one at South Columbus High School. The shelter at Edgewood Elementary in Whiteville was the only pet-friendly, a “Companion Animal Mobile Equipment Trailer” supplied by the N.C. Department of Public Safety making that possible, Columbus County Animal Control Director Joey Prince said.

Shelters consolidated
     Due to low occupancy at some area shelters, locations are being consolidated. Residents who need to go to a shelter should go to the following seven (of 14) locations:
     Horry County Shelters Open
1.      Aynor High School
2.      Conway High School
3.      Green Sea Floyds Middle and High School
4.      Loris High School
5.      North Myrtle Beach High
6.      Palmetto Bay Elementary School
7.      Whittemore Park Middle
 
    The following shelters are on standby:
1.      Aynor Elementary School
2.      Aynor Middle School
3.      Blackwater Middle School
4.      Green Sea Floyds Elementary
5.      Loris Elementary School
6.      Loris Middle School
7.      Pee Dee Elementary

Shelter App
    More than 2,700 people sought refuge in Red Cross shelters in South Carolina Thursday night, the agency said in a news release.
     “We urge everyone in the storm’s path to evacuate and are working with our partners to provide a safe place for you and your family to stay until the storm passes,” said Nanci Conley, executive director for the Red Cross of Eastern SC. “Hurricane Matthew could leave widespread devastation in its wake and untold amounts of need for food, shelter, and help. We are proud to stand alongside our partners to serve those in our community who are being affected by this storm.”
    To find an open shelter, visit here or download the free Red Cross Emergency App.
    Red Cross apps are available in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going here.

UPDATE: Friday late morning
    Hurricane Matthew’s project path edged nearer to the Carolinas with the 11 a.m. forecast from the National Weather Service.
    Landfall remains a question, but the center of the storm appears on a track to hug the South Carolina coast from Charleston to the Grand Strand before an eastward shift begins in the Cape Fear area of South Carolina.
    In Horry County, including Loris, many businesses were closed Friday, some since Thursday, most planning to re-open on Monday. Evacuation orders appeared largely heeded in immediate coastal communities, with shelters opened across the county, including at the public schools in Loris and Green Sea.
    American Red Cross officials refused to allow media access to the shelter at Loris High School Friday morning, and refused to provide information on how many people had sought shelter there. That was a departure from the practice of shelter officials Tabor-Loris Tribune has encountered during previous disasters.
    Columbus County leaders continued storm preparations Friday morning, with most government offices and the county schools to close at noon, the county’s Emergency Operations Center and Red Cross shelters to open at 2 p.m.
    Expectations Friday morning were for heavy rains to begin Friday morning, continuing through Sunday morning, Deputy Emergency Services Director David Ransom said. Projected sustained winds of 41 miles per hour, gusts up to 57 MPH, were forecast, subject to change if the eye of the storm shifts.
    Forecasters were calling for nearly 12 inches of rain in Columbus County, Ransom said. Areas of concern include low areas along the Waccamaw River, including River Road and the Pireway-Guideway communities, Whiteville, Riegelwood, Delco, and Sandyfield.
    More detailed information on shelters and the Emergency Operations Center may be found below.
    In Horry County, sustained winds of 40-50 mph will pick-up later tonight with gusts over 60 mph. possible, a county news release said.  The strongest winds will occur along the immediate coast over-night tonight through late Saturday/early Sunday. Rainfall amounts throughout Horry County are anticipated to be in excess of 10-12 inches with locally higher amounts possible. This will increase the likelihood of flooding and flash flooding.  Impacts include, impassable roads, road washouts, and flooding of flood prone and low lying areas.
     There is a Storm Surge Watch from the South Santee River north to Cape Fear, North Carolina.  Horry County can anticipate 3-6 feet of storm surge along the ocean front, tidal areas/creeks and areas along the Waccamaw and Pee Dee Rivers
     There will be rip currents along our beaches throughout the weekend.
     Residents are urged to stay off the roads, if possible.  If not, use extreme caution when traveling as roads will be slick and ponding will occur.
    Drivers are reminded to NEVER DRIVE AROUND BARRICADES/BARRELS!  These are placed in the roadway for your safety.  Also NEVER DRIVE THROUGH WATER!  It only takes a small amount of water to sweep a vehicle away.
      All residents are encouraged to secure outdoor furniture, garbage cans, etc. as winds will start increasing throughout the day.

UPDATE: Friday early morning

    “Life threatening flash flooding is possible.”
    That’s the urgent message from The National Weather Service this morning as the path of Hurricane Matthew shift north, while slowing slightly overnight.
    That heightens the likelihood of rainfall totals exceeding ten inches in the Tabor-Loris Community, with tropical storm winds bringing down trees and power lines. A direct hit from Matthew continued to appear unlikely, but the easterly turn that Thursday night seemed likely nearer to Charleston, now is projected east of the Carolinas border.
    American Red Cross shelters opened in Horry County Thursday, and are scheduled to open in Columbus County at 2 p.m. today. See the related information below.

Pet friendly
    Only one of the four shelters opening in Columbus County today will be pet friendly, county Animal Control Director Joey Prince said.
    People with animals seeking shelter will need to use the shelter at Edgewood Elementary School, 317 East Calhoun Street in Whiteville. Proof of rabies vaccination will be required, and those with pets must bring food for the animals.
    “People with animals have to stay with the animals,” Prince said. “This is not a drop-off shelter situation.”

Museum
     Because of the approaching hurricane, The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences at Whiteville will close at noon today, with plans to re-open Tuesday. All planned weekend activities have been cancelled.

UPDATE: Thursday afternoon
    Columbus County Schools will close at noon Friday, Whiteville City Schools at 1 p.m., as Hurricane Matthew moves closer to the Carolinas.
     Southeastern Community College will close at noon on Friday, Oct. 7 and will remain closed Saturday, Oct. 8 and Sunday, Oct. 9. Fall Open House and Free Family Movie for tonight has been rescheduled for Nov. 10
    Columbus County offices will close at noon Friday.
    Columbus County Emergency Operations Center will open at 2 p.m. Friday. Public access phone numbers are 910-642-7684 and 910-642-8193
     Shelters will open in Columbus County at 2 p.m. Friday, to include:
•    South Columbus High School – 40 Stallion Drive
•    Edgewood Elementary School – 317 East Calhoun Street, Whiteville/Pet Friendly Shelter                              
•    East Columbus High School – 32 Gator Lane Lake Waccamaw
•    West Columbus High School – 7294 Andrew Jackson Hwy SW, Cerro Gordo

    Columbus County Animal Control will only respond to emergency calls beginning tomorrow through the weekend. Animal Control officers will be collecting all traps Friday morning, bringing them in to the animal shelter so that they don’t become flying debris.

SCDOT
    Evacuations are continuing in coastal Horry County, and the South Carolina Department of Transportation has locked down swing bridges in Little River and Socastee. DOT previously announced swing bridges would be locked down for vehicle traffic, closed for nautical traffic, when sustained wind speeds reached 25 miles per hour. Other SCDOT plans as Matthew moves towards the state include:
·       SCDOT works closely with law enforcement regarding safe travel for the high level structures in the Charleston area including the Ravenel, Holt and Wando Bridges.
–       When sustained winds reach speeds of 30 mph, law enforcement will warn operators of high profile vehicles such as semi-trucks, box delivery trucks, RVs and travel trailers not to use these bridges. Drivers of passenger vehicles should use extreme caution.
–       At sustained winds of 40 mph, local law enforcement agencies will notify the public that travel over those bridges are unsafe for travel and not for public use.
–       When winds reach a sustained 40 mph, anyone crossing the bridges is doing so at their own risk as law enforcement agencies may not be able to staff all locations.  In addition, the public is warned that regardless of sustained wind speeds, unexpected and hazardous wind gusts of higher speeds could occur.
          SCDOT urges all drivers to use caution for your own safety, the safety of other drivers and for those are working to keep the highways open. Updates will be provided on SCDOT’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Horry Solid Waste
    Due to Hurricane Matthew, listed below are the revised operating hours for all Horry County Recycling Convenience Centers and Solid Waste Authority facilities:
 
Recycling Centers:
            Thursday, October 6, 2016 – Normal Operating Hours
            Friday, October 7, 2016 – All recycling centers scheduled to be open will open
                                                          at 7:00AM and close at 2:00PM.
            Saturday, October 8, 2016 – All recycling centers will be closed.
            Sunday, October 9, 2016 – All recycling centers scheduled to be open will open
                                                          at 1:00PM, if possible.
            Monday, October 10, 2016 – Normal Operating Hours, if possible.
 
SWA Landfill:
            Thursday, October 6, 2016 – Normal Operating Hours
            Friday, October 7, 2016 – Normal Operating Hours
            Saturday, October 8, 2016 – Closed
            Monday, October 10, 2016 – Normal Operating Hours, if possible.
 
SWA Material Recovery Facility
            Thursday, October 6, 2016 – Normal Operating Hours
            Friday, October 7, 2016 – Normal Operating Hours  
            Saturday, October 8, 2016 – Closed
            Monday, October 10, 2016 – Normal Operating Hours, if possible.
 
    For more information, please visit our website here or call 843.347.1651.

UPDATE: Thursday morning
   
Hurricane Matthew continued its slow approach towards the Carolinas border Thursday morning, with the latest forecast keeping the center out to sea, his greatest onshore impact expected to be from heavy rain Friday and Saturday likely to lead to flooding.
    Gov. Nikki Haley ordered an evacuation of Zone A, coastal areas of Horry and Georgetown counties, effective at noon today, with the American Red Cross to open shelters at that time, including at all of the main public schools in Loris and Green Sea.
    Horry County government will move to OPCON 1 at noon, it’s highest level, with the county’s Emergency Operations Center active and all relevant agencies active in the emergency plan.
    Columbus County leaders continue to monitor the storm, and Thursday morning had ordered no extra measures. Public school leaders said they would announce decisions on potential school closings later today.
    Updates will be posted here as event warrant.
    Below is the latest news release from Horry County government regarding the evacuation order:

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has issued an evacuation order for Horry and Georgetown counties to officially begin at noon (12 p.m.) Thursday, October 6, 2016.  This evacuation order is for Horry County Zone A only and includes all areas east of U.S. Business 17 (Kings Hwy), up to the intersection with U.S. 17 (Kings Hwy) and all areas east of US 17 (Kings Hwy) to the Northern county line.  In addition, evacuations include all low-lying areas, mobile homes, and campground sites.
 
Horry County does not anticipate the need for lane reversals on Highway 501, but is prepared to implement the reversals if needed.
 
The Horry County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will move to OPCON 1 at noon today, as an evacuation has been issued.
 
To support the evacuation, American Red Cross shelters will open at 12 p.m. today for individuals who must evacuate.  Shelters will be open across Horry County, and include the public schools in Loris and Green Sea.  Individuals are reminded to secure their property BEFORE they evacuate.  Shelters should be considered as a place of last resort to ride out the storm, shelters may be crowded, do not accept pets and are not designed for comfort.  When going to a shelter, citizens will need to take their own supplies such as batteries, bedding, identification, toiletries, clothing, etc…Shelters do not accept guns, alcohol or animals.
 
Once the Governor rescinds the evacuation order, Horry County Emergency Management will activate the Re-Entry Plan.  Re-entry will occur in phases beginning with Level 1 access into the impacted areas.  Municipalities may enforce their own identification procedures at checkpoints if deemed necessary.
 
Level 1
All public officials and personnel having key roles in life safety and the restoration of critical services after a disaster will be permitted to access the impacted area.  All Level 1 personnel will be required to present and wear in full view an authorized employee identification badge.  No personal vehicles will be permitted to enter impacted areas during Level 1 access, except governmental personal reporting for official business.
 
Level 2
This allows for reentry of critical support groups, relief workers, South Carolina Law Enforcement certified security officers, healthcare personnel, business owners/essential staff, insurance adjusters and any other person(s) authorized by the jurisdiction to provide services or reduce economic loss.  All Level 2 personnel will be required to present and wear an authorized employee identification badge at checkpoints.
 
Level 3
Residents and business operators will have access to areas that have been deemed safe by the authority having jurisdiction.  When possible, every effort should be made to safely assist these persons to their property if access is limited.  All residents and business operations must show proper identification to enter an impacted area.  Residents with special needs will be assisted back into their dwellings once sufficient support services are available to assist.
 
Re-Entry for Residents & Property Owners
Residents should have proper identification to gain admittance.  Identification may include a valid government issued photo ID card showing the location of the property.  Out of state property owners with residential or commercial properties within the affected area(s) must show a valid government issued photo identification and current documentation to verify the need for re-entry such as a utility bill, deed, property tax notice, etc…
 
Re-Entry for Business Owners & Essential Employees
Business owners/operators will need proper identification to gain admittance to impacted areas such as a current business license, company photo ID card, lease documents or other official documents showing the location of the property and a valid government issued ID card.
Essential staff/employees will also need proper identification such as a valid business or government issued ID card and an essential employee authorization letter on official company letterhead provided by the business.  This letter should include a request for admittance, the employees’ name and be signed by the business owner/operator.

The forecast for Hurricane Matthew may change as the storm gets closer to the coast, residents are strongly urged to monitor local news for the most up-to-date information.  In addition, citizens should survey their property to make sure outside objects are secured. It is also recommended that you review your hurricane plans now.
 
For more information, call Horry County Emergency Management at 843-915-5150 or visit Horry County’s website at http://www.horrycounty.org

UPDATE: Wednesday afternoon
   
With computer models coming together on an eastern trajectory for Hurricane Matthew that could keep the monster storm from a U.S. or Carolinas landfall, leaders in Columbus and Horry counties Wednesday were taking a wait-and-see stance on storm activities.
    Evacuations planned for the entire South Carolina by Wednesday afternoon were scaled back Wednesday morning, with Horry and Georgetown counties putting off evacuation decisions until at least Thursday morning.
    Gov. Nikki Haley’s state of emergency declaration Tuesday shut down most of the state’s public schools effective Wednesday, including those in Horry County where the weather was breezy, cool and generally dry.
    There were no plans for any schedule changes in Columbus County on Wednesday, with public school leaders saying they would assess conditions and forecasts on Thursday before making decisions impacting Friday classes.
    Updates will be posted here, as warranted.

UPDATE: Early Wednesday
    A real threat or real good practice for the real thing, when it comes?
    Forecast tracks for Hurricane Matthew grew continually worse for the Tabor-Loris Community and the Carolinas overall on Monday and most of Tuesday, before turning a bit kind in the late afternoon into this (Wednesday) morning.
    Heavy rains and high winds were still forecast for the area Friday and Saturday, with Matthew’s closest approach Saturday evening.
     Computer models Tuesday showing landfall on the Carolinas border after daybreak Saturday had shifted early today, instead showing the eye of the massive hurricane offshore of the state line and moving to the northeast by 8 p.m. Saturday.
    Its cone still well inland, into North Carolina’s Piedmont and covering nearly half of South Carolina, Matthew still promised to bring a lot of rain, it’s slower pace threatening bigger rainfall totals in a region already waterlogged from recent storms.
    Gov. Nikki Haley was expected to announcer her decision on evacuations of coastal communities in Horry County and elsewhere in South Carolina about 9 a.m. towy, her office said Tuesday afternoon.
    Her disaster declaration closed schools from the coast into the midlands for the rest of the week, beginning today, and most local and county government offices.
   
Look for storm coverage in Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online, and breaking news updates here as warranted.
    For hurricane preparedness advice from Columbus County Cooperative Extension scroll to the bottom of this story.

UPDATE: Tuesday evening
    Governor Nikki Haley is expected to announce her decision on evacuations of coastal communities in Horry County and elsewhere in South Carolina about 9 a.m. Wednesday, her office said Tuesday afternoon.
    Horry County offices will also be closed effective Wednesday, a late evening news release said.
    Although county offices were mandated to close, almost 60 to 70 percent of Horry County’s workforce are deemed “essential” employees and will be working to support the Horry County Emergency Operations Center, the potential evacuation of Horry County and the needs of  citizens and local businesses.
     Horry County will open its phone bank to assist the public with any questions or concerns regarding Hurricane Matthew on Wednesday, October 5, at 8 a.m. That number is (843) 915-5150.
    Horry County is preparing for that possibility, and other potential impacts from Hurricane Matthew, which is expected to either make landfall or brush the Carolinas coast this weekend.
    A news release from Horry County government Tuesday evening detailed the county’s plans and recommendations, and follows in its entirety. Additional updates will be posted here, as warranted.
Horry County News Release:

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley urged coastal counties to prepare for a possible evacuation to include Horry County.  This evacuation order could go into effect Wednesday, October 5, 2016, and would include Horry County Zone A only. Zone A includes all areas east of U.S. Business 17 (Kings Hwy), up to the intersection with U.S. 17 (Kings Hwy) and all areas east of US 17 (Kings Hwy) to the Northern county line.  In addition, evacuations include all low-lying areas, mobile homes, and campground sites.
 
Horry County does not anticipate the need for lane reversals on Hwy. 501, but is prepared to implement the reversals if needed.
 
The Horry County Emergency Operations Center will open at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, October 5, 2016, to support the possible evacuation.
 
American Red Cross shelters are prepared to open tomorrow for individuals who must evacuate.  Please see the shelter list and evacuation route list below.  Individuals are reminded to secure their property BEFORE they evacuate.  Shelters should be considered as a place of last resort to ride out the storm, shelters may be crowded, they do not accept pets and not designed for comfort.  When going to a shelter, citizens will need to take their own supplies such as batteries, bedding, identification, toiletries, clothing, etc…Shelters do not accept guns, alcohol or animals.
 
Once the Governor rescinds an evacuation order, Horry County Emergency Management will activate the Re-Entry Plan.  Re-entry will occur in phases beginning with Level 1 access into the impacted areas.  Municipalities may enforce their own identification procedures at checkpoints if deemed necessary.
 
Level 1
All public officials and personnel having key roles in life safety and the restoration of critical services after a disaster will be permitted to access the impacted area.  All Level 1 personnel will be required to present and wear in full view an authorized employee identification badge.  No personal vehicles will be permitted to enter impacted areas during Level 1 access, except governmental personal reporting for official business.
 
Level 2
This allows for reentry of critical support groups, relief workers, South Carolina Law Enforcement certified security officers, healthcare personnel, business owners/essential staff, insurance adjusters and any other person(s) authorized by the jurisdiction to provide services or reduce economic loss.  All Level 2 personnel will be required to present and wear an authorized employee identification badge at checkpoints.
 
Level 3
Residents and business operators will have access to areas that have been deemed safe by the authority having jurisdiction.  When possible, every effort should be made to safely assist these persons to their property if access is limited.  All residents and business operations must show proper identification to enter an impacted area.  Residents with special needs will be assisted back into their dwellings once sufficient support services are available to assist.
 
Re-Entry for Residents & Property Owners
Residents should have proper identification to gain admittance.  Identification may include a valid government issued photo ID card showing the location of the property.  Out of state property owners with residential or commercial properties within the affected area(s) must show a valid government issued photo identification and current documentation to verify the need for re-entry such as a utility bill, deed, property tax notice, etc…
 
Re-Entry for Business Owners & Essential Employees
Business owners/operators will need proper identification to gain admittance to impacted areas such as a current business license, company photo ID card, lease documents or other official documents showing the location of the property and a valid government issued ID card.
Essential staff/employees will also need proper identification such as a valid business or government issued ID card and an essential employee authorization letter on official company letterhead provided by the business.  This letter should include a request for admittance, the employees’ name and be signed by the business owner/operator.
 
The forecast for Hurricane Matthew may change as the storm gets closer to the coast, residents are strongly urged to monitor local news for the most up-to-date information.  In addition, citizens should survey their property to make sure outside objects are secured. It is also recommended that you review your hurricane plans now.
 
Additional hurricane information can be found on Horry County’s website at http://www.horrycounty.org. This link contains information on how to prepare for an emergency, evacuation routes and maps, re-entry information, shelters, etc.  Horry County Emergency Management can also be followed on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/horrycountyemergencymanagementdepartment/?fref=ts and Twitter at https://twitter.com/HorryEMD.
 
HORRY COUNTY EVACUATION ROUTES
 
North Myrtle Beach and northward: Evacuees from north of Briarcliffe Acres will take SC 9 north to I-95 and beyond.
Briarcliffe Acres south to Myrtle Beach 10th Avenue North: Evacuees in Briarcliffe Acres south to 10th Avenue North will take SC 22 (Conway Bypass) to US 501 to Marion.  In Marion, they may then take US 76 to Florence to access I-95 southbound or they may stay on US 501 to SC 38 to access I-95 northbound.
Myrtle Beach, from 10th Avenue North south to the Myrtle Beach International Airport: Evacuees from the Myrtle Beach area south of 10th Avenue North and north of the Myrtle Beach International Airport will take US 501 to Conway.  They may then take US 378 to Columbia or continue on US 501 to Marion.  In Marion they may then take US 76 to Florence to access I-95 southbound or they may stay on US 501 to SC 38 to access I-95 northbound.
Myrtle Beach International Airport southward through Surfside Beach: Evacuees from the Myrtle Beach International Airport south through Surfside Beach will take SC 544 to US 501 to Conway.  They may then take US 378 to Columbia or continue on US 501 to Marion.  In Marion they may then take US 76 to Florence to access I-95 southbound or they may stay on US 501 to SC 38 to access I-95 northbound.
Garden City Beach south to Winyah Bay: Evacuees from Garden City Beach south to Winyah Bay will take US 17 south through Georgetown.  They will then take US 521 to SC 261 to US 378 to Columbia.  Alternatively, they may take US 17 south to US 701 in Georgetown to SC 51 to US 378 at Kingsburg.
 
Residents that live in Evacuation Zone C should utilize the closest available evacuation route to safely evacuate the area.
 
When evacuating, it is important to take a road map.  Motorists should be aware that law enforcement and the South Carolina National Guard may be posted along evacuation routes to provide assistance.  Evacuation routes and maps are available on Horry County’s office website at http://www.horrycounty.org/Departments/EmergencyManagement.aspx .
 
AMERICAN RED CROSS SHELTERS IN HORRY COUNTY
 
Aynor Elementary-516 Jordanville Road, Aynor
Aynor High-201 Jordanville Road, Aynor
Aynor Middle School, 400 Frye Road, Galivants Ferry
Blackwater Middle School, 900 East Cox Ferry Road, Conway
Conway High School, 2301 Church Street, Conway
Green Sea Floyds Elementary,5000 Tulip Road, Green Sea
Green Sea Floyds High,5265 Highway 9, Green Sea
Loris Elementary, 901 Highway 9 East, Loris
Loris High-301 Loris Lions Road, Loris
Loris Middle School, 5209 Highway 66, Loris
North Myrtle Beach High School, 3750 Sea Mountain Highway, Little River
Palmetto Bays Elementary, 8900 Highway 544, Myrtle Beach
Pee Dee Elementary, 6555 Highway 134, Conway
Whittemore Park Middle-1808 Rhue Street

UPDATE: Tuesday afternoon
   
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has declared a state of emergency for coastal South Carolina, with possible evacuations of coastal communities effective at 3 p.m. Wednesday, public schools closed starting on Wednesday.
    Forecasters Tuesday afternoon were still calling for Matthew to skirt the South Carolina coast late this week, likely coming a shore near the Carolinas border early Saturday. What is expected then to be a strong Category 2 hurricane would bring torrential rain of up to seven inches and strong winds potentially reaching 50 miles per hour in inland sections of Horry and Columbus counties, the National Weather Service said.
    Beyond the rescheduling of Friday night football games to Thursday for all Columbus County High Schools, no other schedule changes had been announced Tuesday afternoon.
    Gov. Pat McCrory, in North Carolina, declared a state of emergency Monday, allowing weight and other limitations on trucks and farm equipment to be lifted, allowing farmers and others to gather crops and move critical supplies more easily.
    McCrory urged North Carolina residents to get ready.
    “I cannot stress enough how critical it is that all of our residents in central and eastern North Carolina begin preparations for their families and homes. For those residents in the eastern parts of the state, it is especially critical that you update your emergency supply kits in case you need to evacuate and always follow the directions of your local emergency officials.”
    “Many of our central and eastern counties are already saturated from storms during the past few weeks,” said state Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry. “With additional rain and heavy winds in the forecast, we are preparing for additional flooding, downed trees and widespread power outages in the coming days.”
    The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has opened one of its boat ramps on Canal Cove Road at Lake Waccamaw solely for the purpose of taking boats and jet skis out of the water as Hurricane Matthew approaches, Lake Waccamaw Town Manager Harry Foley said Tuesday.
    No one will be allowed to put boats in the water at this time.
    “We strongly advise boat owners to take advantage of this opportunity as soon as possible,” Foley said in a news release.
   Look for updates, here, as warranted.

Matthew steers west

    Forecasters at noon Tuesday were projecting a more westward path for Hurricane Matthew, with a good likelihood of landfall at or near the Carolinas border Saturday morning.
    Horry County, moved its emergency status to OPCON 3, after moving from normal at OPCON 5 to OPCON 4 on Monday.
    Emergency officials in Horry and Columbus County were coordinating with the American Red Cross on Tuesday, making plans to open shelters if necessary. Evacuation orders are possible, especially in coastal areas of Horry County, and residents were encouraged to be award of their evacuation zones. That information may be found here.
    Shelters should be considered as a place of last resort to ride out the storm, shelters may be crowded, they do not accept pets and not designed for comfort.
    When going to a shelter, citizens will need to take their own supplies such as batteries, bedding, identification, toiletries, clothing, etc…Shelters do not accept guns, alcohol or animals.
    Residents that live in Evacuation Zone C in Horry County should utilize the closest available evacuation route to safely evacuate the area, the county warned.
     When evacuating, it is important to take a road map. Motorists should be aware that law enforcement and the South Carolina National Guard may be posted along evacuation routes to provide assistance.  
     Whether required to evacuate or not, citizens should:
•    Have all necessary medications (prescription and over the counter).
•    Have a supply of nonperishable food and water for each family member including pets.
•    Survey property to mitigate the potential of flooding such as making sure storm drains and gutters are clear of debris.
•    Have family hurricane plans in place; including items that may be needed like water, batteries, flashlights, etc.
•    Anticipate potential power outages that could extend for several days.
 
Thursday night football
    Threatening weather moves Friday night football up a day for South Columbus High School for the second time this season, with the Stallions to host South Robeson at 7 p.m. Thursday, SCHS Athletic Director Willie Gore said Tuesday morning.
    West Columbus will host Fairmont at 7 p.m. Thursday, too, with East Columbus at St. Pauls and Whiteville at Red Springs now scheduled for the same kick-off time Thursday.
    Horry County Schools leaders, too, were assessing the threat of Hurricane Matthew Tuesday morning and had not yet made decisions on scheduled Friday night games. Those would include Dillon at Loris, Creek Ridge at Green Sea Floyds, those games on the schedule for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff Friday.
    Emergency management officials in Horry and Columbus counties were preparing for the massive hurricane this week, with Tuesday morning forecasts all but guaranteeing at least a brush with the storm this weekend, and a potential direct strike.
    Matthew’s intensity was expected to diminish, some, though the potential for tropical storm or hurricane force winds and rain well inland could still not be ruled out on Tuesday.
    Horry County sets its alert status at OPCON 4 on Monday, a step up from the normal OPCON 5, with emergency planners doing their work to be prepared.
    Columbus County Columbus County Emergency Services director Kay Worley said her agency is preparing for the potential from Matthew, assessing generators, transitioning a conference room to be used as an Emergency Operations Center, checking phone lines, and conferring with state Emergency Management leaders and the National Weather Service.
    She is also touching base with all of the emergency service providers in the county, asking them to be prepared, and to see if there are any resources they need. She added that any resource requests will take time to be answered.
    Others, including the Columbus County and Whiteville City public school systems and Southeatern Community College are monitoring the storm path and making plans for the potential disruption Matthew might bring.
    Look for updates here, and storm coverage in Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online. – Deuce Niven

As we began yet another hurricane season it is vitally important that we make preparations in order to keep our families and love ones safe. I am sure that we all are hoping that we will not be faced with a hurricane; however no one can say with a100% certainty that one will not come ashore this year. So we need to be prepared in case this the event should occur. Hurricanes can cause a tremendous amount of damage. Trees, shrubs and homes can be destroyed by heavy rains and winds. It is never too early to start making preparations for hurricanes that may affect Columbus County. In preparation for the 2016 hurricane season there are several things you can do to remain safe. Of course we hope that we will not be affected by a hurricane but it is always better to be prepared than unprepared.
•    Make sure you have basic house household supplies such as batteries, candles, fuel and food stored in a place that is easily accessible. It is important to start doing this now, do not wait until the day before the hurricane arrives it may be to late.
•    If you are thinking about buying a generator now is a good time to do so!
•    Refill prescription drugs, after a hurricane it may be impossible to get to drug store due to impassable roads covered with trees and debris.
•    Just before the storm turn your refrigerator and freezer on the highest setting. In case there is a power outage this will help preserve food.
•    Just before the storm fill clean containers with water.
•    Stay tuned to local TV and Radio Stations for weather forecast and updates.
•    Find out where the nearest emergency shelter will be located in your area.
•    If you leave home turn off all electrical items and shut off power. If possible call all relatives and let them know you are leaving. You do not want them thinking you are lost in the storm.
•    If possible make sure to remove any cars, motorcycles etc. from under large hardwood trees such as pecans and oaks. They are most prone to fall over.
•    Cover or store any equipment.
If you have any further questions regarding making preparations for the hurricane season please contact your local Cooperative Extension Service at 910-640-6606.

Hurricane and Disaster Preparedness
Dalton Dockery, County Extension Director
I. DISASTER PREPAREDNESS
Agriculture producers must realize the effect disasters will have on family members and co-workers, as well as the impact on livestock, crops, farm structures, machinery, water and food supplies, and other bulk materials stored on the farm. They must also be prepared for the economic issues related to loss of life, property, or income that may occur.
Farmstead Disaster Plan
Farmers who are prepared for disasters are more likely to preserve life and property. They will also minimize recovery time and resume productivity much faster.
A farmstead disaster plan must consider:
The safety of family members and co-workers, livestock, and emergency response personnel that would assist in recovery efforts; and
How to protect crops, equipment and machinery, agricultural chemicals, water supplies and stores of food for animals.
Inventory, Inventory, Inventory
A comprehensive accounting of property, or potentially hazardous substances is essential to farmstead disaster preparedness.
Attach animal ID tags on all animals and note the ID number and description of the animal.
Maintain a list of machinery and equipment, including make and model number.
Keep an updated list of pesticides, fertilizers, fuels, medicines and other chemicals. During a disaster, these chemicals can wash into streams or contaminate food supplies, placing people and animals at risk.
Disaster Supply Kit
In addition to family disaster kits, agriculture producers should also keep on hand additional supplies to protect the farm. These include:
Sandbags and plastic sheeting, in case of flood
Wire and rope to secure objects

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