All interstates are open in South Carolina, but people trying to return to the coast will face detours on other main thoroughfares and certain roads will get worse as the rivers rise.
Detour signs will line the way and echoes of “recalculating” from GPS devices will sound the way as motorists get closer to the Grand Strand. Horry County was reporting 150 road closures as a result of Hurricane Matthew and the rising flood waters of the Waccamaw and Little Pee Dee rivers as of 6 p.m. Monday.
State Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall says they are closely monitoring the Interstate 95 bridge at the Pee Dee River where logs have reportedly backed up.
In an emergency meeting of the South Carolina Department of Transportation Monday afternoon, Hall advised that 390 closures are reported on the state highway system and 29 of those closures are bridges. Some of the bridges have been inundated with flood water and as creeks and rivers continue to rise, other roads and bridges will also be in jeopardy, according to Hall.
Interstates 95 from the north and south (with the exceptions of portions between exits 73-58 and exits 31-13, in N.C, which are closed due to flooding); 77 from Charlotte, 26 from the mountains of western North Carolina to Charleston and 20 for those traveling from the southeast are all open.
But motorists are being rerouted along portions of U.S. 76, U.S. 501, U.S. 378, S.C. 261, S.C. 31, S.C. 9, U.S. 701, S.C. 905, S.C. 129, S.C. 57, S.C. 19, S.C. 366 and S.C. 1124.
Twenty miles of U.S. 378/U.S. 76 from Gum Swamp to the U.S. 76 turnoff at Florence Highway is closed, according to a re-entry road map shown on DOT’s website.
Nearly a half-mile of U.S. 501 is closed due to flooding between Pine Oak Farm Road and Rabon Road.
Surging swamps and creeks have cut off roads trapping some residents in their homes, while others evacuated low-lying river areas by boat.
More than half of the county roads closed are due to flooding and fallen trees are to blame for blocking the remainder.
County highways impacted include Highway 90 at Sandridge Road, and the S.C. 31 exit at John B. Singleton Parkway.
Main Street in Conway is blocked by flooding waters, and other roads that typically flood when the Waccamaw rises are under water, including Lees Landing and Waccamaw Drive.
The complete list of county roads and a map of the impacted routes can be found here:
State and local officials are not estimating when any road is expected to open.
State road closures in Horry County also include parts of:
▪ Cane Branch Road from Gerald Road to Dow Road
▪ Highway 19 from Playcard Environmental Center to SC 410
▪ Highway 45 from Limercock Road to South Branch Road, and from Gurley Road to Danny Road.
▪ U.S. 701 from Harris Road to Sherwood.
▪ Ocean Boulevard from Melody Lane to Atlantic Ave.
▪ Pee Dee Road to Brunson Springs, and Brunson Springs from Highway 501 to Fork of the Swamp Road.
▪ Red Bluff Road from Highway 66 to Heritage Road
▪ Highway 19 from mile marker 22 beyond marker 24.
▪ Pee Dee Highway from mile point 6 to 8
▪ S.C. 9 from U.S. 76 to S. 44
▪ Portions of Spring Branch and U.S. 76.
The drawbridges in Horry County are still without power to operate.
Numerous traffic signals are out at key intersections along main routes, including U.S. 17 Bypass and on U.S. 501, and officials are reminding motorists to treat those intersections as four-way stops.
State transportation officials say evacuation routes and other primary roads including those leading to hospitals or nursing homes are their first priority.