MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Hurricane Season officially starts June 1st, but emergency management and disaster relief organizations are already hard at work getting ready for the season, saying the risk of a big storm is always there.
"The fact is it will happen," said Horry County Emergency Management Director Randy Webster. "It could be this year, it could be next year. Now's the time to get ready."
Emergency management, local law enforcement, and communities are educating the public on storm preparation, re-entry forms, and the dangers of storm surge.
"Storm surge is still the number one killer in hurricanes," Webster said.
Last season, Horry County released new "Know Your Zone" guidelines which put more emphasis on storm surge. Webster says for decades, the prevailing concern from hurricanes has been the winds, but he says more and more information about storm surge shows how deadly it can be. People who witnessed Hurricane Hugo firsthand in 1989 say the surge was the more destructive than any other force.
"Coming back into town was like seeing total devastation," said Tom Phipps, who works at Sam's Corner. "It was like a bomb had dropped on Garden City."
In the almost quarter-century since Hugo, new construction methods mean homes on the beach are a lot more resilient to storm surge, but there's a lot more of them now than there was in 1989. That's got Phipps wondering how safe people really are.
"It's just grown," he said. "It's natural growth, but I wonder what Hugo would do to this area today."
Friday, August 29 2014 6:22 PM EDT2014-08-29 22:22:53 GMT
An inmate at the state prison in Pendleton has been shot and killed by a guard while fighting in the yard. Umatilla County District Attorney Dan Primus says 26-year-old Jayson Matthew Withers of SalemMore >
An inmate at the state prison in Pendleton has been shot and killed by a guard while fighting in the yard.More >
Saturday, August 30 2014 9:34 PM EDT2014-08-31 01:34:11 GMT
The Coast Guard says the pilot of a small airplane lost consciousness while flying and the plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the Virginia coast.More >
A pilot lost consciousness and the plane drifted into restricted airspace over the nation's capital, scrambling fighter jets that stayed with the small aircraft until it ran out of fuel and crashed Saturday.More >
Friday, August 29 2014 1:08 PM EDT2014-08-29 17:08:37 GMT
Helt's booking photo from tonight
The young homeless man who accompanied Miley Cyrus to the MTV Video Music Awards has a warrant out for his arrest in Oregon. More >
Jesse Helt, the Oregon man who accompanied Miley Cyrus to the MTV Video Music Awards, had a warrant out for his arrest in Oregon. He posted bail after turning himself in to the Polk County Jail. More >