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Myrtle Beach Evacuation Includes Ocean Lakes

Evacuation of part of Horry County, S.C., is set to begin at noon today (Oct. 6), a process that is expected to take 15 hours and create traffic headaches for residents across the county, the Myrtle Beach Sun News reported.

Gov. Nikki Haley initially announced that evacuations in Horry and Georgetown counties would begin Wednesday afternoon, but postponed her order until today.

The evacuation zone includes all areas east of U.S. Business 17 to the intersection with U.S. 17, and all areas east of US 17 to the northern county line. In addition, evacuations include all low-lying areas, mobile homes and campground sites.

Weather forecasts for Hurricane Matthew on Tuesday showed the storm making a Category 2 strength landing north of Myrtle Beach on the North Carolina border. By Wednesday, forecasts indicated that Matthew will take a sharp right turn out to sea early Saturday morning before reaching South Carolina.

With several days remaining before the storm strikes, the National Hurricane Center warns that Matthew’s erratic path is still subject to change, and that South Carolina residents should pay close attention to evolving weather reports.

Most Ocean Lakes guests had evacuated by Wednesday (Oct. 5). Photo supplied by Ocean Lakes.

Most Ocean Lakes guests had evacuated by Wednesday (Oct. 5). Photo supplied by Ocean Lakes.

Ocean Lakes Family Campground in Myrtle Beach, one of the largest campgrounds in the country, started evacuating its guests Wednesday, according to the campground.

“We are expecting everybody to have to leave the campground,” said Lance Thompson, Ocean Lakes’ General Manager and Vice President.

Hurricane Matthew is projected bring five-foot to seven-foot storm surges and 40 mph winds, Ocean Lakes said in its evacuation announcement.

“All Ocean Lakes guests are encouraged to heed the evacuation plan and leave the campground. As Hurricane Matthew approaches, our team will prepare for the storm, which includes possibly shutting off utilities and blocking some access gates,” the park said in its announcement. Guests who do not evacuate will likely end up without power or water and could get stuck in the campground. The pools were closed Wednesday and Sunday’s church service is canceled.

“Keep in mind we can’t guarantee your safety” if you do not evacuate, Thompson said.

After Haley delayed her evacuation order, Ocean Lakes changed the final deaprture time until 11 a.m. today.

The park is giving guests refunds or allowing them to apply the balance to another reservation and is waiving fees for reservation changes.

“Ocean Lakes will be closed Friday and Saturday,” the park said in its announcement. “Our team will assess any damage in the park as soon as the storm passes and determine when the campground will reopen. We will keep you updated on the status of the campground — including any damage and when it will reopen — on our Facebook page and website.

“Guests who have reservations arriving Sunday,” the park advised, “should wait for word on when the campground will reopen before arriving. Check our Facebook page and website for the latest on when the campground will reopen. Also note, residents who have evacuated likely will be returning to the area Sunday, so traffic could be congested more than usual headed into the beach.”

For the Sun News story, click here.

For the Ocean Lakes announcement, click here.

 

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