NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- Hurricane Ian is expected to impact the City of North Myrtle Beach and surrounding areas later this week. A tropical storm warning is now in effect south of the Little River Inlet. Additional watches and/or warnings may be required soon.
The National Weather Service says potential impacts in North Myrtle Beach will include:
- Heavy rain (6-8 inches with some areas receiving more)
- Flash flooding
- Storm surge
- Winds 25-35 mph (gusts up to 50+ mph)
- Isolated tornadoes
- Coastal flooding (one to three feet)
- Hazardous marine conditions
- Beach erosion
- Power outages
Northeast South Carolina and southeast North Carolina will be impacted but the magnitude will vary with the eventual track of the storm.
A few factors will play into the potential for heavy rainfall, including moisture from Ian interacting with a coastal front that is expected to be in the area. If that happens, the potential for heavy rainfall exceeding 6-8 inches is likely along with flooding. Some areas could see higher amounts of rainfall.
Currently, any significant impacts from Ian would most likely begin with wind on Thursday afternoon or evening.
City management is actively monitoring the storm and is in constant contact with the different departments that are preparing to respond. Each department head is working to make sure the City of North Myrtle Beach is prepared prior to the storm and after the storm passes.
Public Safety Officials with the City of North Myrtle Beach are keeping a close eye on the storm. The North Myrtle Beach Police Department and North Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue Department are coordinating with department heads. Public Safety is working on staffing plans in the event additional personnel are needed. The City's Emergency Operations Center could be partially activated beginning on Thursday.
NMB Fire Rescue and the NMB Police Department are preparing for the impacts of Ian by making sure high-water trucks are prepped, rigid inflatable boats are trailered and ready to go, and all equipment is fueled.
The City's Public Works Department is cleaning storm drains, removing debris, and preparing for 12-hour shifts. Information about sanitation crews, trash and recycling pick-up will be forthcoming. Property owners are advised to secure their trash and recycle bins so they do not get blown away or overturned.
The Parks and Recreation Department is securing material at park facilities and moving material away from the beaches to minimize damage from potential storm surge and high winds.
The City's Planning and Development Department is visiting construction sites and advising contractors to secure materials prior to the storm. The Department will also respond after the storm by sending damage assessment teams throughout the city to document damage caused by floodwaters or high winds. City management will be able to monitor the results of those inspections in real-time.
NMB Ocean Rescue is moving some lifeguard towers and chairs in low-lying areas or areas that may be vulnerable to beach erosion. Red flag conditions are expected to start on Thursday. A red flag indicates there are hazardous conditions including high surf and/or strong currents. The public can monitor beach conditions at the following link:
Horry County | Safe Beach Day
The City's IT Department is backing up critical infrastructure and ensuring City staff members can work remotely in the case of power outages or flooding.
The City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is currently at OPCON 3.
OPCON is short for “Operational Conditions.”
There are three OPCON levels from the South Carolina Emergency Management Division:
- OPCON 1 (Full Alert, a Disaster is Occurring or Imminent)
- OPCON 2 (Enhanced Awareness that a disaster or emergency is likely to occur)
- OPCON 3 (Normal Daily Operations)
Please tune in to your favorite weather provider over the next several days as this hurricane continues to develop.
The public can sign up for alerts using the link below:
Below are some helpful links.
South Carolina Emergency Management Division:
National Hurricane Center:
National Hurricane Center (noaa.gov)