Mayor Rhodes signs emergency declaration

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – With the pending approach of Hurricane Matthew, Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes has signed a civil emergency declaration as a precaution.  In accordance with Governor Nikki Haley’s order, the area to be evacuated is Zone A, east of Kings Highway.

“The Mayor of the City of Myrtle Beach hereby calls upon all citizens and visitors to evacuate immediately. Failure to comply may result in injury of death, and deteriorating conditions may prevent communications and response regarding police protection, fire suppression and medical first responders. Those who remain assume the risk of injury or death,” the order says.

The emergency order gives the City Manager the authority to take certain actions, if needed, during the emergency.  Once the order is in place, City Council must act to rescind it.  Barring any significant damage from the storm or need for long-term recovery, an item will be on Tuesday’s City Council agenda to cancel the emergency order.

City Manager John Pedersen has ordered that normal building permit fees will be waived for an indefinite period for the repair of storm-related damage to residential or commercial properties.  Building permits will still be required, but inspectors can issue them in the field, beginning as soon as Sunday.  For additional permit information, call the Construction Services Department at 843-918-1111 after the storm.

The City of Myrtle Beach will open its Emergency Operations Center at 6 p.m., Friday, October 7.  The main EOC telephone number is 843-918-1400.

Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand are under a Hurricane Warning, which means that hurricane force winds and conditions are expected within 36 hours.