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Local officials shift to ‘imminent’ disaster mode as Hurricane Florence bears down

Myrtle Beach Mayor addresses Hurricane Florence

Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune issued a state of emergency for the city in preparation for potential effects from Hurricane Florence.
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Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune issued a state of emergency for the city in preparation for potential effects from Hurricane Florence.

Area officials are shifting their operating conditions to Level 2, meaning a “disaster or emergency is imminent,” according to news releases.

“County officials are in continual discussions with South Carolina Emergency Management, coastal communities including local municipalities, the Governor’s office and will continue to monitor the situation closely,” a release from Horry County states.

Horry and Georgetown counties shifted their operating conditions at noon Monday as Hurricane Florence continued to strengthen and head toward the Carolina coast.

The hurricane became a Category 4 storm about noon Monday.

County officials are encouraging residents to prepare for the storm by having all needed medications, a supply of water and nonperishable food items, having an emergency kit ready and a family hurricane plan in place.

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Horry County officials provided a breakdown of what each operating condition means:

OPCON 5: Normal day to day operations

OPCON 4: Storm poses possible threat: The possibility of an emergency or disaster situation that may require activation of the Emergency Operation Center (EOC).

OPCON 3: Storm poses significant threat: A disaster or emergency situation is likely. Most likely the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) has been or will be activated (either partially or fully based on the severity of the event).

OPCON 2: Evacuation order imminent: A disaster or emergency situation is imminent or in effect.

OPCON 1: Evacuation order issued: A major disaster or emergency is in effect. This is the highest state of emergency situation and the Emergency Operations Center is fully activated. This also applies to post-disaster operations.”

The state of South Carolina is preparing for some level of impact from Hurricane Florence, Gov. Henry McMaster announced Sunday.

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