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Loris, GSF schools among those in Horry taking a second ‘eLearning’ day Friday

Floodwaters from Tropical Storm Idalia cross US 701 north of Sidney Thursday morning, with the Williams Township Fire Department positioned on the north side. (Deuce Niven, TLT)

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

UPDATE: 4:45 p.m.

     Tropical Storm Idalia’s impacts have varied in Horry County, prompting a varied response from the Horry County Schools that generally has Grand Strand schools on their regular schedule for Friday, Sept. 1, most inland schools returning to an eLearning environment, with no on-campus classes and no school bus transportation provided.

     An HCS news release late Thursday afternoon addressed specific inland schools, including those in Loris and Green Sea Floyds, as follows:

     “All schools in the following attendance areas will be closed but will operate with an eLearning day for all students: Aynor, Green Sea Floyds, and Loris. Because HCS is approved by the South Carolina Department of Education as an eLearning district, this eLearning day will not have to be made up.

     “Students who are unable to participate due to power outages, lack of internet service, or other barriers will have the opportunity to complete assignments at a later date.

     “All extracurricular competitions (athletic and other extracurricular) scheduled for Friday, Sept. 1, will be rescheduled for the Aynor, Green Sea Floyds, and Loris attendance areas.

     “Students attending the following schools/programs will follow the above schedule (either normal operations or eLearning) designated for the attendance area of their family’s residential address: Academy for Arts, Science & Technology, Academy for Technology and Academics, Early College High School, Scholars Academy High School, SOAR Academy, and Therapeutic Learning Center.

     “Note: bus transportation will not be provided to students residing in the Aynor, Green Sea Floyds, and Loris attendance areas.

     “For updates, please monitor the HCS website or visit HCS on social media outlets.”

Columbus Courts

     Superior Court in Columbus County has been cancelled for Friday “Due to the flooding associated with Hurricane Idalia,” Clerk of Court Jess Hill said. That decision was made by Resident Superior Court Judge Ashley Gore.

     There was no scheduled district court, Hill said, and District Court Judge Scott Ussery has made arrangements for first appearances to be conducted, Hill said.

     “For updates, please monitor the HCS website or visit HCS on social media outlets.”

    Look for more in impacts from Tropical Storm Idalia here, as events warrant, and in the next Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.

UPDATE: 2:30 p.m.

     A second day of remote learning for students in the Columbus County Schools is set for Friday, “Due to many road closures occurring across the area” in the wake of Tropical Storm Idalia, a CCS news release shortly after 2 p.m. Thursday said.

     “Students should check Google Classroom for assignments and office hours,” the news release said. “There is a two-hour delay for staff.”

Flood waters surround, but did not enter Catholic Church of the Resurrection Thursday morning, but the Assembly of God Church next door was not as fortunate. (Jenn Causey, TLT)

Church flooded

     Flood waters lapped near the doors of Catholic Church of the Resurrection in Loris Thursday morning, but did not enter, a church spokeswoman said.

     Next door, the Assembly of God Church did not fare so well, with water getting inside the building which has been flooded during previous weather events.

A portion of Milligan Street in Loris washed out by flood water from Tropical Storm Idalia. (Jenn Causey, TLT)

     Elsewhere in and near Loris several roads were overrun by water, with Milligan Street in the city partially washed out by flooding.

     Look for more in impacts from Tropical Storm Idalia here, as events warrant, and in the next Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.

UPDATE: 1 p.m.

     Flooding over two major southern and western Columbus County highways has receded, with US 701 and NC 410 open and traffic flowing in both directions, North Carolina Department of Transportation Public Relations Officer Andrew Barksdale said in e-mails just before 1 p.m. Thursday.

     Flood waters were rising and failing in different areas early Thursday afternoon, and motorists were encouraged to be vigilant and use caution when water covers the pavement, “turn around, don’t drown,” a phrase often used by public safety officials.

     Look for more in impacts from Tropical Storm Idalia here, as events warrant, and in the next Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.

Thursday morning post

     Direct impacts from tropical storm Idalia’s visit through the Tabor-Loris Community were largely past by dawn Thursday, but the water she brought overran roadways that made travel difficult, if not impossible for those heading to work or other destinations.

     At least 25 storm-related road closures were reported by the NC Department of Transportation at 9:15 a.m. Thursday.

     “Most involve water topping the roadways,” an NC DOT post on X, formerly known as Twitter, said. “We’ll wait for the water to recede and inspect for any damage before reopening them.

Some motorists drive through high water on NC 410 north of Clarendon Baptist Church Thursday morning, some turn around. (Deuce Niven, TLT)

     “Many roads in Western Columbus County are impassable due to flooding after heavy rains from Tropical Storm Idalia. Motorists are advised to stay alert and obey posted road closure signs.”

     More information on road closures can be found at DriveNC.gov.

     US 701 between Sidney and Williams Township was completely shut down by high water over the highway, while  NC 410 north of Clarendon Baptist Church was also overrun, with some people making their way through the high water, others turning around.

     Capt. Kevin Norris of the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, on the south side of the flooding on US 701, said workers, including staff at Columbus Correctional Institution, were finding it impossible to get to or from their work or home because of the multiple road closures.

     “I told my detectives not to try to get to the office,” Norris said.

     Deputies live throughout the county, Norris said, allowing the sheriff’s office to answer calls for service wherever they are needed.

     Other road closures across Columbus, listed at drivenc.gov, include portions of Thompson Town Road, Pine Log Road, Bird Cage Road, McNeil Road, and Gores Trailer Road.

     “The bulk of the flowing was in the western and southern parts of the county,” Columbus County Emergency Services Director and Assistant County Manager Nick West said Thursday morning. “Williams Township, Tabor City, Chadbourn. There was some flooding at Lake Waccamaw but nothing like on 701, some on 74.

Rescues

     Floodwaters went through a home on Ward Road near the state line forced the rescue of a family with dogs and birds during the night, Tabor City Fire Chief Jeff Fowler said.

     “I’m not sure if it was in Columbus or Horry,” Fowler said. “The house was flooding. We ended up getting them out with a high water vehicle.

     Water stood two to three feet high on sections of West 2nd, 3rd, and 4th streets, Fowler said, and impacted the main fire station which sits on a small hill.

     “Water actually ran into the bays where we park the trucks,” Fowler said.

Unusually high water spills over the Lake Tabor Dam Thursday morning. Runoff, earlier in the morning, covered nearby US 701. (Deuce Niven, TLT)

     Water covered US 701 at Lake Tabor for several hours in the early morning, Fowler said, but had receding off of the payment after dawn. Lynwood Norris Road at the lake also flooded, with water still covering a playground near the county operated Senior Center later in the morning.

     Several sections of Richard Wright Road were flooded, with more than a foot of water crossing the pavement, Fowler said.

     Firefighters during the night also rescued a man whose vehicle was stranded in high water, and responded to an wreck with an overturned vehicle during the storm. There were no serious injuries, Fowler said.

     “We were out cutting trees in the road and stuff all night,” Fowler said.

     Williams Township Fire reportedly was involved in several high water related rescues during the night, Fowler said.

EOCs, shelters

     Emergency Operation Centers for Horry and Columbus counties closed Thursday morning as the storm had passed. Horry’s was closed at 8 a.m., a county news release said; the EOC for Columbus County closed at 10 a.m.

     Evacuation shelters were never deemed necessary in either county for Idalia.

     Look for more in impacts from Tropical Storm Idalia here, as events warrant, and in the next Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.