Horry County first responders have rescued hundreds of people from homes and vehicles in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.
Crews have conducted more than 100 home evacuations and about 50 water rescues involving vehicles since Florence made landfall last Friday, according to Horry County spokeswoman Kelly Moore.
The Waccamaw and Little Pee Dee rivers continue to rise after Florence dumped rain on the area for days.
Forecasters say the Waccamaw will crest early next week at 21 feet, about three feet higher than after Hurricane Matthew in 2016. The Little Pee Dee River is expected to crest Thursday at 16.9 feet, just below the Matthew height of 17.1 feet.
Horry officials say more rescues will likely be necessary in the coming days. They encourage residents who live in flood-prone areas to evacuate their homes ahead of rising waters.
Residents who have been rescued have expressed gratitude, said Horry County Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief John Fowler.
“Everybody is grateful,” he said.
Moore said the county is working with state and local agencies to respond to emergencies throughout the county. Any overtime by firefighters is paid based on federal law.
In Conway, first responders have done roughly a dozen home rescues this week and will likely have to do more as the Waccamaw swells, city spokeswoman Taylor Newell said.
“We expect to get busy tonight, tomorrow and the weekend,” Newell said Thursday.
City administrators are going door to door warning people and telling them that if they were flooded during Hurricane Matthew they should expect it again.
In some rescues, crews use boats to reach people in need. Special vehicles are also available.
Here’s what you need to know if water rises around your home or if you are in a vehicle that gets caught up in floodwaters:
▪ Call 911. Residents can also call the Horry County Office of Emergency Management at 843-915-5150.
▪ If you need rescued, only bring the essentials, such as medication, with you. Crews aren’t equipped to handle many items from your home, Fowler said.
▪ Don’t drive through standing water.
▪ Don’t drive around road barricades.