Horry County is asking residents to not call 911 for non-emergencies during Hurricane Florence and its aftermath. Instead, officials ask people with questions to call an information line at 843-915-5150.
Renee Hardwick, director of Horry County 911, said the county maintains an around-the-clock questions hotline for non-emergency calls, like inquiries concerning power outages, road conditions and the storm and its aftermath.
“They will be able to answer all your questions on that line,” she said. “And they will tell you if you have an emergency to call 911.”
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The reason for the two lines is that during the storm 911 needs to be used for emergencies only or else it can get bogged down with calls.
“Call us if you have a life-threatening emergency or a crime happening to you or you see something that is a danger to others,” she said. “That’s what you need to call 911 for.”
She said that if every one calls 911, it will bog down lines and slow down public safety officials trying to get to real emergencies. The county will answer calls during the storm, but if it is dangerous for public safety officers, that will be taken into consideration if help can be sent.
“We’re asking for everyone to take heed to the warnings that have been given about evacuation,” she said.