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Florence: Q&A from the Horry County Schools; Recycling, cleaning up in Columbus; Mosquito spraying request form

Schools in Horry County have been pressed into service as shelters and disaster resource centers. (Jenn Boyd/TLT)


     Some of the record number of school days missed by students in the Horry County Schools will have to be made up, others may be waived through legislative action, a school district news release Wednesday says.

     Columbus County emergency officials are encouraging residents to take advantage of recycling centers.

     Requests for mosquito spraying are mounting in Horry County, the volume overwhelming Stormwater phone lines, a county news release said.

     An online form to request mosquito spraying, for Horry County residents only, can now be found here.

     Details from the Horry Schools, a long post, and from Columbus County Emergency Management, are below.

Schools days?

     It’s clear students will not be back in class Monday, Oct. 1, the Horry County Schools’ news release said, though staff is “tentatively” asked to report then.

     Here’s the full text of the news release:

     We have received a number of questions from parents and students regarding the missed days due to the flooding impacts of Hurricane Florence. Although we may not be able to answer all of your questions at this point, we do want to share information we know at the present time. This is uncharted territory for our school district, as we have never experienced such devastation that has left us unable to return to school for 14 consecutive days. Our Facilities and other support staff will continue to work diligently preparing to re-open schools when deemed safe so that we can get back to the business of our primary mission—educating our youth.

     Our next parent/student update will be provided by noon on Sunday, September 30, 2018, as we will continue to review available data concerning river levels, flooded areas, flooding time tables, and road closures, etc., so we can make an informed decision regarding school openings for next week. Based upon the aforementioned data, we have decided that all HCS staff will NOT be requested to report to work on Friday, September 28, 2018; however, as conditions allow, we will tentatively ask our HCS staff to return to work on Monday, October 1, 2018, in anticipation of the re-opening of schools. Thank you all again for your continued support and patience during these difficult times.

Will students have to make up missed days?

     Yes. In light of the enormous impact Hurricane Florence flood waters have had across our county, HCS is exploring make-up day options that will comply with state law and that will allow the District to recoup valuable instructional time for our students. Though this historic flooding event has not ended, we are developing a revised yet preliminary student calendar which focuses on reclaiming instructional days within first semester, as doing so is especially critical for our high school students.

     What we know to-date…HCS will make up at least three days, as required by S.C law [Section 59-1-425 (B) and (C)]. After HCS students have made up three days of school missed due to weather conditions, several levels of waiver for missed days are possible according to state law.

     The three days HCS previously established in the 2018-19 student calendar as make-up days are as follows:

  • October 8, 2018
  • January 18, 2019
  • February 18, 2019

     More information will be forthcoming regarding both a revised student calendar and the additional instructional days that likely will be added to first semester.

Will interim report cards be issued on Friday, September 28?

     First quarter interim report cards will NOT be issued on Friday, September 28. Once a calendar adjustment has been completed, the new date will be announced. The final adjusted calendar will also include new dates for future interim and final report cards.

Once school resumes, if a student is unable to attend school because of impacts from the flooding, will the absences be excused?

     Please notify your school’s administration as soon as possible and let them know your particular hardships. Schools will work with parents on an individual basis.

Can our child remain in his/her base school (i.e., the school serving his/her area of residence) if our family has been temporarily displaced by the flooding?

     Yes. We will make every effort to ensure that your child remains at his/her base school regardless of your living situation; however, you will need to provide your own transportation. Please notify your school’s administration of your current address and update your contact information including phone number.

Can our child remain in his/her base school if our family has been displaced by the flooding and can no longer live in our home for an extended amount of time?

     Yes. We will make every effort to ensure that your child remains at his/her base school regardless of your living situation. Please notify your school’s administration of your current situation and address and update your contact information including phone number. The school can provide additional contact information for support and resources.

Our home flooded, and we are temporarily living outside of the Horry County School District boundaries. Is my child still eligible to continue attending his/her base school in Horry County?

     Yes. We will make every effort to ensure that your child remains at his/her school regardless of your living situation; however, you will need to provide your own transportation.

We are relocating to another district. How can I transfer my child’s records?

     Please notify your child’s base school in Horry County Schools that you are requesting a transfer of your child to another school and complete all withdrawal documents. Though your child’s new school typically will contact his/her base school directly to request all school records, to ensure a smooth transfer, you should ask his/her base school in Horry County Schools to send the records as well.

Due to the disaster, we may need to apply for Free/Reduced Meals. How do we do that?

     Please visit here.

When will school athletics resume?

     School athletic directors, in conjunction with coaches, the SC High School League, and the individual regions, are revising the athletic schedules and will communicate additional information once finalized at here.

Can I donate or volunteer to help Horry County families impacted by the storm?

     Yes. Horry County Disaster Relief is being organized by the Waccamaw Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) here or call 843-915-5908.

Are there any community outreach or disaster assistance programs to assist families affected by the storm?

     Register for FEMA Disaster Assistance online here. If you are unable to access the internet, you can also call 1-800-621-3362. Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish). You may also install the FEMA App, available for Apple, Android, and Blackberry mobile devices.

     When you register for disaster assistance either online or by phone, you will need the following to complete your application:

  • Social Security number
  • Address of the location where the damage occurred (pre-disaster address)
  • Current mailing address
  • Current telephone number
  • Insurance information
  • Total household annual income
  • Routing and account number for your checking or savings account (this allows FEMA to directly transfer disaster assistance funds into your bank account).
  • A description of your disaster-caused damage and losses

     Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly. For those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. More information can be found here.

Is there a “one-stop” location where I can find additional information about claims, insurance, disaster assistance, FEMA aid, etc.?

     Yes. The South Carolina Emergency Management Division has a resource page that can be viewed here.

Columbus County

     All Columbus County residents are encouraged to visit on eof seven recycling centers for the disposal and recycling of these acceptable materials:

  • Aluminum Cans
  • Brown Goods
  • Bulk Waste
  • Cardboard
  • Electronics
  • Lead Acid Batteries
  • Mixed Recyclables
  • Newspaper & Inserts
  • Poison, Herbicide, & Pesticide Containers
  • Scrap Metals
  • Tires
  • Used Motor Oil
  • White Goods (appliances)
  • Yard Waste

     Unacceptable materials at the recycling centers include:

  • All liquids except Motor Oil
  • Burn Barrels and Ashes
  • Construction and Debris
  • Dead Animals
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Household Solid Waste
  • Land Clearing Inert Debris/Stumps/Trees
  • Poisons, Herbicides, or Pesticides
  • Radioactive Waste
  • Unknown products

     No commercial or industrial waste materials are allowed at any of these facilities. These items must be taken to the Columbus County Transfer Station. For additional information, visit the Columbus County webpage at

Cleanup caution

     The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services cautions residents returning to flooded areas to begin the cleanup process.

     “It is important to stay vigilant against all the hazards that we’ll be facing that are associated with flooding, wind damage and mosquitoes,” said State Health Director Elizabeth Tilson, M.D., MPH. “While cleaning up outdoors, be sure you are up-to-date on your tetanus vaccine and avoid contact with flood waters if you can.”

  • Do not use gas powered generators and outdoor grills or camp stoves in enclosed areas because of the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Be careful touching electrical equipment, if you have remaining floodwaters.
  • Throw away food that may have contacted flood or storm water and any perishable foods that have not been refrigerated properly.
  • Eating or drinking anything contaminated by flood water can cause diarrheal diseases, such as E. Coli or Salmonella infection.
  • Do not drive or walk through flood water.
  • If you come in contact with flood water, be sure to wash your hands properly.
  • Wash toys and food preparation surfaces that have been in contact with flood water with a bleach solution and allow to air dry.
  • If you have well water, be sure to contact a well water professional to have your well decontaminated.
  • Wear long sleeve shirts and long pants while outside to minimize mosquito bites.

     Use mosquito repellent that contains DEET or an equivalent when outside and use caution when applying to children.