Several beaches in Horry County closed to swimming

Horry County closed all sections of beach in the unincorporated part of the county. Surfside Beach and Myrtle Beach have also closed their beaches.

Horry County Beach Patrol made the decision Friday morning, after several people were rescued Thursday when they were caught in strong rip currents due to Hurricane Irene. Northern sections of beach were closed Thursday. The southern sections were closed Friday morning. Citizens and visitors are still allowed on the sand portion of the beach.

Surfside Beach police closed its beaches to swimmers Friday morning. Chief of Police Mike Frederick said that the move is in response to the dangerous currents. The waterfront area is open to all other activities.

The situation is the same in Myrtle Beach. City leaders there say they will monitor conditions Saturday and Sunday and make adjustments as needed. The city alerted the sidewalk cafes along the boardwalk to bring in tables, chairs and fencing materials. Residents and businesses are urged to secure any outdoor items that could be blown about in the wind.

At 11:30 a.m. Friday, North Myrtle Beach removed its tower lifeguards from the beach. They're expected to return on Sunday. Beach patrol will continue to patrol the beach on Friday and Saturday, as long as the weather permits. The majority of Beach Patrol personnel are also certified lifeguards. Although North Myrtle Beach has not closed the beach to swimmers, it urges you not to get in the ocean.

We'll post any other beach closures here.