Drone video of workers attempting to shore up Highway 501 at Conway, South Carolina
Hurricane Florence has downgraded to a tropical depression and moved to the west, but now communities around Horry County are bracing for severe flooding similar to what people saw after Hurricane Matthew two years ago.
By Monday morning the Waccamaw River near Conway hit major flood stage and is forecast to stay around that level until it starts to rise again later this week, according to the National Weather Service.
“Just because the storm has exited and much of the rainfall has stopped, doesn’t mean the danger has ended,” said Steve Pfaff with the National Weather Service in Wilmington. “Dangers include the continuation of flooding, clean-up and repair damages. The point is, there are many ways to become injured after a hurricane.”
Pfaff said life-threatening flooding will continue through the next couple days because run-off water from “historic rainfall” has no where to drain. The area could see more rainfall, with a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms into Monday night and 40 percent chance on Tuesday, the NWS reports.
The Little Pee Dee River near Galivants Ferry was in minor flood stage as of Monday morning but is expected to continue rising to major flood stage early Wednesday, the Weather Service forecast shows.
The record height for the Waccamaw at the old U.S. 501 bridge in Conway is 17.9 feet, set on Oct. 18, 2016, after Hurricane Matthew.
Major flood stage for the Waccamaw is 14 feet and the river is expected to stay above that level through the week, according to the weather service.
The forecast goes through only Friday night, with the river expected to be higher than 17 feet, according to the Monday forecast. The weather service projects river levels out only five days.
The Little Pee Dee River at U.S. 501 in Galivants Ferry is expected to be over 14 feet by Friday, well over the major flood stage. Monday morning the Weather Service put the river at 9 feet.
Hurricane Matthew also set the record for the Little Pee Dee at 17 feet on Oct. 12, 2016.
You can check the river level forecasts for Horry County online on the Weather Service website.
Charles Duncan: 843-626-0301, @duncanreporting; Hannah Strong: 843-444-1765; @HannahLStrong