Conway High School is getting ready to potentially house over a thousand people as Hurricane Florence moves closer to making landfall.
The school has parking, showers and a movie theater. Sleeping bags and air mattresses line the quiet hallways as people move into their home for the next several days.
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The Eastern South Carolina chapter Red Cross Executive Director Amy Brauner said three meals will be served every day. Generators hopefully will keep the lights on during the storm.
Conway High School is just one of several emergency shelters that the American Red Cross and Horry County have opened. While different shelters have different amenities, all are working to keep people safe.
As soon as shelters in Horry County opened, people began lining up. And there is still time to check into one before the storm hits.
If you don’t have the ability to leave ahead of Hurricane Florence’s arrival, the American Red Cross is using certain Horry County schools as shelters for those seeking safety from the storm.
According to Horry County’s website, the shelters in total can hold more than 13,000 people. The largest shelters are Conway and Loris high schools and Aynor Middle School.
Residents are asked to bring their own supplies, according to the Red Cross. This includes any bedding, snacks, entertainment or comforts needed. The shelter is there to keep people safe, not necessarily to keep everyone comfortable.
People seeking shelter will be sleeping in hallways and on the floor within the schools.
The shelters are not long-term solutions, however, and people going to them need to have a plan in place for after the storm. At some point after the storms, the schools will return to being schools. That said, the shelters will be stocked to host people until it is safe for people to leave.
“Please come join us,” Brauner said.
Here is a list of all the local shelters and their capacity:
Aynor Middle School, 400 Frye Road Galivants Ferry, SC 29544, can host 1,026 people.
Conway High School, 2301 Church St., Conway, SC 29526, can host 1,278 people.
Loris High School, 301 Loris Lions Road, Loris, SC 29569, can host 1,163 people.
North Myrtle Beach High School, 3750 Sea Mountain Hwy., Little River, SC 29566, can host 778 people.
AT CAPACITY: Palmetto Bay Elementary School, 8900 Hwy 544, Myrtle Beach, SC 29588, can host 479 people.
Whittemore Park Middle School, 1808 Rhue St., Conway, SC 29527, can host 847 people.