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 Highway 544 to SC Highway 378
- U.S. Highway 501, from SC Highway 22 to the U.S. Highway 501/SC Highway 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 Highway 9 North to Interstate 95 (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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- All areas east of U.S. Highway 17 (U.S. 17) Business (Kings Highway), up to intersection with U.S. 17 (Kings Highway) and;
- All areas east of U.S. 17 (Kings Highway) to the northern county line.
- All areas south of SC 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.
- All areas between U.S. Highway 701 and SC Highway 544, south of Brown’s Chapel Avenue and Highway 814 plus;
- All areas east of SC Highway 31 (Carolina Bays Parkway) to SC Highway 90 and;
- All areas east of SC Highway 90 to U.S. 17 to the northern county line.
Interactive Zone Map
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale
|Category||Sustained Wind Speeds||Types of Damage|
|1||Very dangerous winds will produce some damage:|
|2||Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage:|
|3 (major)||Devastating damage will occur:|
|4 (major)||Catastrophic damage will occur:|
|5 (major)||Catastrophic damage will occur:|