City of North Myrtle Beach Hurricane Evacuation & Reentry Procedures, and More

The official hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin (Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico) is June 1 to November 30, but it never hurts to get a head start on preparing for the season.

Mandatory Evacuation Procedures

IF a hurricane threatens our area and IF the Governor issues an evacuation order, evacuation routes will be managed as follows:

-- Once the Governor issues a mandatory evacuation, lane reversals automatically occur for two sections of Highway 501— U.S. Highway 501 from SC 544 to SC 378, and U.S. Highway 501 from SC 22 to the U.S. Highway 501/SC 576 split in Marion. Once you enter a lane reversal pattern, you will not be able to get back out. Never enter a lane reversal pattern unless directed to do so by law enforcement.

-- The Horry County evacuation plan to which all in North Myrtle Beach are subject requires all people located north of Briarcliffe Acres to evacuate via SC 9 North to I-95 and beyond.

-- These requirements stem from the South Carolina Hurricane Evacuation Study for the Northern Conglomerate released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2012.

Reentry Procedures

When reentering the city of North Myrtle Beach after a hurricane evacuation, property owners, renters and business owners should be prepared to show either their driver’s license, a copy of a recent water bill or property tax bill, a rental agreement, or other form of identity that proves residency or property ownership within the city.

Owners of businesses with employees who do not reside within the city limits but who are essential to business recovery should provide those employees with a letter written on company letterhead identifying them as being essential to the recovery of the business. When identifying an employee, please use their name as shown on their driver’s license so that authorities can match the two for verification.

The City of North Myrtle Beach does not require filing residency or business information prior to a storm.

The City’s goal is for the return of property owners and others to North Myrtle Beach as soon as possible following a hurricane evacuation so that all can help in the recovery process. However, some areas of the city may not be safe or essential utilities damaged, resulting in delayed reentry to the affected locations.

Be aware that other jurisdictions that you may travel through on your return to North Myrtle Beach from a hurricane evacuation (State, County, or other municipality) may have different identification requirements or different reentry priorities depending on damage that may have occurred in their jurisdictions.

Do you know your ZONE?

You may remember that different areas of Horry County, including North Myrtle Beach, have been assigned different “Zones” with respect to the potential impact of hurricane storm surge on a given land area.

IF a hurricane is to strike our area with force, and IF the Governor calls for a mandatory evacuation, he might do so by identifying the ZONES that must evacuate. The zone locations in Horry County are as follows:

Zone A - All areas east of U.S. 17 Business (Kings Highway), up to intersection with U.S. 17 (Kings Highway) and then all areas east of U.S. 17 (Kings Highway) to the northern county line.

Zone B - All areas south of S.C. 707 and Longwood Drive, including all areas in Longwood Plantation (Blackmoor) to the Waccamaw River and all areas east of U.S. 17 Bypass (Mark Garner Highway) to U.S. 17 (North Kings Highway) and all areas east of U.S. 17 (North Kings Highway) to the northern county line.

Zone C - All areas between U.S. 701 and S.C. 544, south of Brown's Chapel Avenue and Hwy. 814, plus all areas east of S.C. 31 (Carolina Bays Parkway) to S.C. 90 and all areas east of S.C. 90 to U.S. 17 to the northern county line.

The Horry County Emergency Management Department provides an interactive Zone Map. Access County information at www.horrycounty.org.

How will the City stay in touch with you?

During a hurricane emergency, the City will communicate advisory, damage assessment, reentry and other information to the public using these resources:

-- www.NMB.us (See “Press Releases” on the home page)

-- www.Facebook.com/cityofnmb

-- www.Twitter.com/cityofnmb

-- Via our Email News Group, whose members receive all news releases at the same time we send them to the news media. This is a free service. To be included in the Email News Group, provide your email address to Pat Dowling at pcdowling@nmb.us. Please specify if you want to receive all City-related news or only hurricane-related information. We will not use your email address for any other purpose. You can opt out at any time.

The City also forwards its information to local and regional news media outlets, Horry County Emergency Management, the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce, and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. The North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce shares City of North Myrtle Beach announcements with its members and its social media audiences.

The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce serves as the umbrella agency for the Area Recovery Council (ARC), which serves as a clearinghouse for information from all sources within Horry County during hurricanes and other disasters.

Questions about North Myrtle Beach procedures? Contact Pat Dowling at pcdowling@nmb.us