Rivers rising: 'It’s coming, it’s happening, it’s going to continue to get worse'

Rivers rising: 'It’s coming, it’s happening, it’s going to continue to get worse', (Sydney Glenn/WPDE)

It's been a week since Hurricane Florence slammed down on the Carolinas, leaving a path of destruction in its path.

For most in our area, the days following the storm have been the hardest as the rivers overflow into communities. Some places are starting to see the water levels go down, but for many, like people who live near the Waccamaw River in Conway, the worst is yet to come.

On Saturday, the river levels already passed the record set after Hurricane Matthew, and it's not expected to crest until Tuesday.

“If you were impacted by Matthew, you are definitely impacted again. And the communities or homes or subdivisions around where Matthew was before, you need to be prepared to take a course of action to protect your family and your property," Randy Webster, the Emergency Management Dir. for Horry County, said.

Rescue crews were in the Pecan Grove community of Conway on Saturday afternoon, asking people to evacuate, bringing supplies to the ones that wanted to stay and helping get anything left behind.

“A lot of residents, they won't have any access. This may be the last time they have a chance to get to their residence. We’ve asked and said there is a possibility that you may not be able to get back to your home. You may experience flooding you’ve never seen before, and a lot of them heeded that warning and did move, and today may be the last chance they have to do that," Assis. Fire Chief Jeremy Carter, with Conway Fire Rescue, said.

The unknown of what the next few days will bring is leaving many on edge.

“The water is getting higher and higher and closer to my house," Sandra Gowans, who lives in Conway, said.

The water is coming, that's for certain, but this is uncharted territory, Webster said.

“A lot of things are changing as we’ve said. We are in areas that we are having to make decisions to make sure we can maintain services as best as possible, lifeline services now. This isn’t just services of every day," he said.

Many were stuck in hours of traffic this week because of Highway 501 closures, leaving many frustrated. Webster said he thinks it was the right decision to close the road.

“It’s such a huge inconvenience, but it’s not about that. It’s about long-term sustainability of our community and making sure we can keep folks with the commodities and the things they need until we can get through this," he said.

Now many wait, watch and hope the water doesn't make its way into their homes.

“Everybody was like in a little panic. They really think, we really think something’s going to happen that’s not happened before, and I keep saying, ‘Oh boy, please, no Katrinas'," Gowans said.

It will be difficult, but Webster reminds everyone that no one is alone.

“We will get through this. It will be different for a lot of folks, but we will still be a community. We’ll still be Horry County," Webster said.

To see the latest river forecast from ABC15's First Warning Weather Team, click here.

For a list of open shelters, click here.

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