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McMaster orders evacuation: Where should you go?

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster ordered mandatory evacuations for residents in the highlighted section of Horry County's 'A', 'B' and 'C' evacuation zones. The evacuation goes into effect Tuesday at noon. Crews will reverse traffic to four lanes traveling inland along two sections of Highway 501. (Taggart Houck/WPDE)

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster ordered an evacuation for coastal counties from Jasper to Horry along the state.

"This may be inconvenient," he said. "This is a very dangerous hurricane. But we are not gonna gamble with the lives of the people of South Carolina. Not one," he said.

The evacuation order doesn't officially go into effect until noon Tuesday. In Horry County, McMaster's evacuation order encompasses all of zones A, B and C.

If you live in Horry County, click here to see whether or not you live in an evacuation zone. You can also check this map if you live in Georgetown County.

"Those zones are which areas could potentially be inundated by that storm surge, so 'A' being the most likely, 'B' being the least, or, next most likely and then 'C' continuing on," said Gina Vasselli, spokesperson for the Horry County Emergency Management Division.

In addition to an evacuation, McMaster said all public schools and state offices will be closed tomorrow.

"We've got a great team. There's no team greater than this South Carolina team, but this is a real hurricane that we have coming and our goal is to protect lives and property," said McMaster.

He said crews will reverse lanes along two stretches of Highway 501, allowing four lanes of traffic to head inland.

Those stretches of 501 are:

From SC 544 to SC 378 and US 501 from SC 22 to the US 501/SC 576 split in Marion. Once you get into a lane reversal pattern, you won't be able to get back out.

"The baseline recommendation when you leave is to have food and water for three days at least," said Vasselli.

It may not be a fast trip. Bring the important documents, she said, like passports, marriage certificates and insurance paperwork.

Most important, she said, take a document confirming proof of residence with you, like a utility bill.

"That way when it comes time to do reentry, you can show that documentation to whoever it is and they will let you back into the area," said Vasselli.

Without it, you may not be allowed back home.

The safest option is to understand your route and follow it as soon as you can. Don't take any chances, Vasselli said.

"If you make the decision to stay, you are doing so, basically, at your own risk," she said.

Evacuation routes for Horry County are as follows, according to the county's website.

North Myrtle Beach and northward:

  • Evacuees 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, take US 76 to Florence to access I-95 southbound or 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. Then, take US 378 to Columbia or continue on US 501 to Marion. In Marion, take US 76 to Florence to access I-95 southbound or 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. Then, take US 378 to Columbia or continue on US 501 to Marion. In Marion, take US 76 to Florence to access I-95 southbound or 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. Then, take US 521 to SC 261 to US 378 to Columbia. Alternatively, take US 17 south to US 701 in Georgetown to SC 51 to US 378 at Kingsburg.

Evacuation routes for Georgetown County are as follows, according to county officials:

  1. Take US 17 south through Georgetown, then take US 521 to SC 261 to US 378 to Columbia.
  2. Under certain conditions, an alternate route from Georgetown will be Black River Rd. to US 701 to SC 51 to SC 41 to US 378 at Kingsburg.

For more information about Georgetown and Horry County evacuation routes and lane reversals, click here.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation has an interactive map, where you check the evacuation route closest to you.





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