Myrtle Beach leaders talk preps for Hurricane Irma

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes called a press conference Thursday afternoon to let community members know what the city is doing to prepare for the impacts of Hurricane Irma.

Mayor Rhodes announced that city leaders have postponed city council and other meetings for the next week as Hurricane Irma moves closer to the Carolinas. All special events for the next week have also been postponed.

The mayor spoke to the uncertainty of Irma’s strength when it approaches the Myrtle Beach area and urged all residents to be prepared in the event the governor should call for evacuations. He suggested having vehicles fueled up and ready to go, having medications and important personal documents – social security cards, insurance information, driver’s license – prepared to take as well.

“This hurricane is the largest that’s ever been recorded in the Atlantic Ocean,” warned Mayor Rhodes. “We will keep you informed at every moment we get more information.”

Before introducing Myrtle Beach Fire Department Chief Alvin Payne, Mayor Rhodes insisted residents listen to all warnings and take action if evacuations are necessary.

Chief Payne spoke to the importance of being prepared to evacuate on a short notice. Payne commented that there would likely come a point during the storm’s impact that first responders will not be able to get to all areas of the county, creating a very dangerous situation for anyone who decides to stay in the area after, and if, evacuations are ordered.

Payne also spoke to the magnitude of the storm and the devastation a category three hurricane can cause to the coastline and properties in evacuation zones.

“We’re a long way from being out of the woods,” warned Payne.

As of 1:30 p.m. Thursday, no evacuations have been announced for South Carolina residents.