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‘Now it’s round two’: Red Cross prepares for impacts of record-breaking flooding in SC

Water levels are rising along the Waccamaw River after Tropical Depression Florence.
Water levels are rising along the Waccamaw River after Tropical Depression Florence. jbell@thesunnews.com

The American Red Cross is preparing to help locals stay safe as record-breaking flooding threatens thousands of Horry County roads.

“We had round one with Hurricane Florence, and now it’s round two with the flooding,” Cuthbert Langley with the Red Cross said.

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In Horry County, the James R. Frazier Community Center, Loris Elementary School and Palmetto Shores Church are operating as shelters. They are not a part of the original storm shelters, opened after an evacuation order from Gov. Henry McMaster last week.

The three shelters can hold a total of about 500 people. The Frazier Center and Palmetto Shores can hold 50 people each, and Loris Elementary can hold 416 people, according to the Red Cross website.

A midnight count said that 300 people spent the night in shelters in the District One area of South Carolina, which includes Horry, Florence and Marion counties.

The shelters are in Socastee, Bucksport and Loris, three areas prone to flooding. Near 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Conway announced a shelter would be opening at the Conway Recreation Center.

On the eve of Florence hitting, shelters were prepared to hold nearly 13,000 people. A few thousand ended up staying in the shelters as the storm hit, making landfall Friday as a Category 1 hurricane.

Flooding as a result of Florence has meant a continued need for Red Cross services. Langley said the Red Cross is working to get more supplies to the flood shelters before the river crests.

The Red Cross will make decisions based on the community’s needs, Langley said. The organization is keeping an eye on conditions and working with local authorities to determine where supplies should be sent and if an additional shelter needs to be opened.

In addition, the Red Cross is sending out mental-health experts and nurses to check on people as flood levels rise.

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If people need assistance from the Red Cross, they can call the Horry County nonemergency line or 1-800-Red-Cross.

During emergency situations, conditions and needs can change fast, Langley said.

Follow more of our reporting on Hurricane Florence

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