The Waccamaw River will hit flood stage Sunday morning and continue rising into next week when moderate to major flooding is predicted to impact the area from Hurricane Matthew rainfall, according to the National Weather Service.
“If anything, it’s worse,” Richard Neuherz of the weather service said of the current river flooding predictions.
“Conway now has a greater than 50 percent chance of hitting major flood (stage),” Neuherz said Friday morning.
“It’s not looking good,” Neuherz said.
The Little Pee Dee River at Galivants Ferry is also expected to reach flood stage Sunday morning and see moderate to major flooding, and officials are monitoring the Black, South Santee, Sampit and northeast Cape Fear rivers that are expected to flood those banks as well.
The Lumber River at Lumberton could see record flooding conditions, the weather service said.
A flash flood watch and tropical storm warning is in effect for northeast S.C. and southeast N.C.
The Waccamaw River will reach the 11 foot flood stage Sunday and continue rising Monday towards the 12 foot moderate flooding stage. During the historic rains one year ago, the Waccamaw rose higher than 16 feet — the third highest crest on record.
The river forecast has not been extended beyond Monday.
Forecasters also warned that residents should be prepared for life-threatening flash flooding conditions Saturday and into the evening along creeks and some rivers, but especially where drainage systems are quickly overwhelmed.
“That’s where we anticipate road failures and where people will get swept in and drive off roadways,” said Steven Pfaff with the National Weather Service.
Large-scale hazardous road conditions are expected all day Saturday.
With 12 inches of rain now predicted for inland and coastal Horry County, Reid Hawkins with the National Weather Service says flooding will have an “extreme impact” on the area.
Depending on the amount of rainfall over particular basins, heavy rain combined with already saturated soils will increase the likelihood of increased runoff into area rivers.