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UPDATE: Horry schools set 2-hour delay for Wednesday, power companies say they are ready

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

Update

     With the most significant impacts of today’s winter storm expected between 5 and 8 p.m., the Horry County Schools have set a 2-hour delay for classes on Wednesday, Jan. 10, an HCS news release said.

     Forecasters expect the storm to move off the coast by 10 p.m.

     “Once the storm has passed, employees from the district’s Maintenance and Transportation Departments will conduct inspections of schools, school access roads, and bus routes around the county,” the news release said. “Consequently, in an abundance of caution, Horry County Schools will operate on a two-hour delay on Wednesday, Jan. 10, for students and all employees.”

     High school students in Horry are scheduled to take exams Thursday and Friday, with early dismissal planned for Friday, the district said.

‘Ready to respond’

     Power companies in the region say they are ready for the storm, including Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation, a BEMC news release said.

     “BEMC has strategically stationed resources throughout the system and ensured its inventory of poles, wire and related equipment to make repairs and restore power, as needed,” the news release said. “Additionally, BEMC’s system is designed for resilience, facilitating faster restoration times when outages occur. The co-op conducts an industry leading right-of-way maintenance program in order to minimize damage to lines from fallen trees and limbs, and well more than half of its 7,000 miles of line are buried underground, which speeds post-storm restoration across the service territory.”

     “We know how important power is to our members and we will do everything possible to keep outages to an absolute minimum,” said CEO Josh Winslow. “We are prepared and ready to respond with the full strength of our resources.”

     BEMC offices will close at 1 p.m. today, and the utility reminds all to steer clear if downed power lines “under any circumstances.”

     For information on how to prepare for severe weather visit bemc.org/storm-checklist.

Original post

     An “enhanced risk” of severe thunderstorms later today has prompted a number of governmental closings, including cancellation of tonight’s (Jan. 9) Tabor City Council meeting, shuttering of Loris City Hall today and Horry County government offices, and early closings at 1 p.m. today of most Columbus County government offices and Tabor City Town Hall.

     Tabor City’s monthly council meeting will be held, instead, on Tuesday Jan. 23. Scheduled for 7 p.m., the meeting will take place at The Ritz Center on Hickman Road.

     Council had planned to recess tonight’s meeting to re-convene at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, at Town Hall for the first night of its annual goal setting weekend.

     Because council cannot recess a meeting it doesn’t hold, a “special called meeting” of council has been announced for the Jan. 19 gathering, Town Manager Al Leonard said.

     As announced Monday, both the Columbus County Schools and Horry County Schools have moved to remote learning today, with plans to return to normal in-person schedules Wednesday. All after school and athletic activities today have been cancelled.

     Southeastern Community College will close at 1 p.m. today, and resume regular hours at 8 a.m. Wednesday, the college announced.

Weather

     Risk levels for severe weather will be limited at 11 a.m., and rise to elevated at 5 p.m., the third highest on a five-step scale, the National Weather Service reported in a Tuesday morning briefing.

     That risk level returns to limited by 10 p.m., and to no/none by midnight, the NWS said.

     “Confidence is  HIGH regarding impacts” of this weather system, the NWS said, including widespread strong and gusty winds outside of severe storms, mainly Tuesday afternoon into the evening, and the possibility of tornadoes.

     Inland winds of up to 55 miles per hour are forecast.

     Look for updates here as events warrant, and in the next Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.