Editors note: This story is from The Sun News archive. We thought you enjoy reading it in wake of Hurricane Matthew.
As usual, Capt. Dick Davis conducted river tours Saturday.
Typically, the bearded master pilot of the Waccamaw River steers a posh double-decker cruise boat full of sightseers down a scenic route.
But for the third consecutive day, Davis found himself guiding a small pontoon boat through the streets of Conway.
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"I've never seen it like this since I've been here, '' said Davis, who has operated the Conway Marina for the past seven years. "What can you do?''
Hurricane Floyd slammed into Horry County on Wednesday dumping as much as 24 inches of rain and leaving many Conway residents searching for higher ground.
The flooding will get worse before it gets better. The Waccamaw River was at 11 feet 3 inches Saturday, up from 10.95 feet Friday.
The Southeast River Forecast has predicted the river will rise and crest between 16 feet and 17 feet Friday.
The Savannah Bluff, Lees Landing, Pitch Landing, Jackson Bluff and Bucksville areas will be the most heavily flooded, according to the National Weather Service.
Davis, captain of The Kingston Lady, spent the past three days shuttling people, pets and possessions and in and out of houses along Waccamaw Drive - where water had lapped inside most homes by Saturday.
"I worked 19 hours yesterday, '' Davis said, easing his boat out of the marina. "It took me two days to move the Kingston Lady and get it prepared for the hurricane. The only time I've had off was when the hurricane was going through.''
Shannon and Greg Knox of Waccamaw Drive hopped aboard Davis' boat Saturday afternoon on a quest to retrieve their new computer and check the mail.
"We rescued my cats yesterday, '' Shannon Knox said.
"I should have never left them anyway.''
Earlier in the week, the Knoxes loaded up their treasured belongings into a camper and van to head for the N.C. mountains before Hurricane Floyd was scheduled to hit. But their evacuation plan struck a snag when the camper broke down in the driveway.
The family left in another vehicle only to return Friday to a house full of water, Shannon Knox said.
With Davis' help, the Knoxes removed the computer, some clothes and their television. The water, which had already engulfed the first floor, was about four feet from the second floor, Greg Knox said.
The Knoxes and their two children are staying with Davis and his wife, Dianne, through the flood, Shannon Knox said.
Wilma Lucas has lived on Waccamaw Drive for 30 years.
The retired elementary school teacher said she had never seen the flood-prone neighborhood be submerged so fast.
"It used to flood about every 10 years, '' she said.
"Now it seems like it happens every other year, but never as high as this.''
Lucas pointed out 1070 Waccamaw Drive as one of the street's highest points. Davis docked the pontoon boat under the brick house's car port and helped Roger and Karrie-Lynn Roberts take out a wooden chest, desk, television and clothes.
The water hadn't crept inside their house but it's only a matter of time, they said.
When leaving the house, all Karrie-Lynn could do was shake her head and rub Roger's back.
Davis said he soon plans to move The Kingston Lady and another boat, The Osprey, from their safe spot near the Conway Main Street bridge.
"Our concern now is being able to get them out because [when water rises they won't fit under] the bridge, '' Davis said.
He also has to secure docks at the marina before water is too high.
But Davis will help the flood refugees as long as possible.
"Whatever people need we'll do it, '' he said.