Residents along the Waccamaw River should begin preparations for major flooding as a result of Hurricane Matthew, which is now predicted to pass about 20 miles offshore the Grand Strand.
The Waccamaw River gauge operated by the National Weather Service at Conway says that waterway will reach flood stage at 11 feet after midnight Saturday and rise quickly past the moderate flood stage by mid Sunday to 13.5 feet.
By Monday afternoon, the river levels will reach past major flood stage at 14.9 feet. No crest has yet been forecast, however the National Weather Service says flooding could persist for a considerable amount of time, in response to the 10-20 inches of rainfall that will occur over the next 36 hours.
During the historic rains one year ago, the Waccamaw crested at 16.2 feet — the third highest on record.
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According to the National Weather Service threat assessment, the Conway Marina will flood and residential flooding will continue to worsen over the weekend. Railroad trestles in downtown Conway won’t flood until the river reaches 15.9 feet.
Flood waters will worsen and affect several residential properties and roads at Riverfront South, Lees Landing, Savannah Bluff, Pitch Landing, Jackson Bluff and Bucksville.
Flooding will occur in residential areas off Business 501, Highway 905 and Highway 90. Water levels one foot deep will surround approximately 20 homes in the Savannah Bluff area. Flood waters will also surround homes in the Lees Landing, Pitch Landing and Riverfront South communities. Flooding will occur near a few homes on Oak Street as well as at Punch Bowl and Pitch Landing.
Flooding is expected to affect homes north of Conway on Riverside Drive and swamps will be heavily flooded.