“It would take about 30 hours:” Mayor urges residents to prepare for possible evacuation

Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes released a statement Wednesday evening regarding the looming Hurricane Irma in the Atlantic.

“The latest forecast shows Myrtle Beach could be affected by the storm early next week,” Rhodes said. “Now is the time to act. For those of you who experienced Matthew last year, this storm is much bigger, much stronger. Matthew was barely a Category 1. Irma will likely be a three if it stays on the current track. As of tonight, South Carolina is in its path.”

The city of Myrtle Beach is preparing for the storm by meeting with state and county emergency management. Rhodes said that generators are being fueled as well as vehicles in order to prepare for the storm.

A state of emergency was declared by South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster Wednesday afternoon. This does not mean that evacuations are in place, but according to Rhodes more information on whether an evacuation will be issued or not will be provided Thursday.

“If an evacuation order comes, it would take about 30 hours to get everyone safely away from the coast,” Rhodes said. “Don’t wait until the last minute. Plan ahead. Get fuel in your car. Get ready to take your family to safety.”

Rhodes urges people to have supplies, gas and important documents ready to go.

If Hurricane Irma does hit the South Carolina coast, the city of Myrtle Beach will continue to update the public through their normal channels, but mainly through their Facebook page.

Megan Tomasic: 843-626-0343, @MeganTomasic