Marion County officials urge residents to be ready to seek higher ground
Marion County officials continue to encourage residents living in low-lying areas to monitor the rivers around them and the news media as the waters from Hurricane Florence make their way through the county’s rivers.
County Administrator Tim Harper said the county was not yet ordering mandatory evacuations but added that residents living in low-lying areas around the Great Pee Dee, Little Pee Dee and Lumber rivers need to consider the option of leaving for higher ground with a family member or one of two shelters in the county.
The shelters are at the A.C. Tollison Gymnasium in Marion (near the Marion County School District offices) and at the Parks and Recreation Center in Mullins (100 S. Gapway St.). If those sites reach 80 percent of capacity, the county has plans to open additional shelters in Marion.
The flooding in Marion County is caused by the rains of Hurricane Florence. The storm brought several inches of water into North Carolina rivers, and the water must flow through the Great Pee Dee, Little Pee Dee and Lumber Rivers to get to the Atlantic Ocean.
Hurricane Florence already has had a devastating effect on the county.
“Right now, the town of Nichols is basically shut off because of flooding,” Harper said. “It’s basically at the same level it was during Hurricane Matthew.”
Nichols was devastated by Matthew in 2016.
Harper also said that as of Thursday around $2 million of damage has occurred just to county facilities.
“We haven’t even had a chance yet because the flooding hasn’t completed to see our roads and infrastructure and see what kind of damage we’ve got there,” Harper added. “It’s devastating for our county because we’ve been through it three times over the last five years. We’re seeing some of the same problems that we saw at that time.”