Horry County introduces drones to gather beach data

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Horry County crews are going to start using drones to keep an eye on local beaches.

The county’s IT department showed off the drones Monday morning at a press conference. The drones will provide measurements and other data on dunes in the county that will be used for future re-nourishment projects.

“Being able to provide FEMA and the federal government with information post-storm is critical for receiving funding. We’ll be able to show what the beach looked like before and after the storm and be able to calculate the beach erosion and beach loss within days after a storm rather than what typically takes weeks or months,” Chief Information Officer Tim Oliver said.

Officials say the drone can also be used to help with county building inspections, storm water permits and with the addition of an infrared camera, can assist with search and rescue missions.

Flights will happen mid-day starting now until the middle of January. Each drone costs about $12,000.