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Floodwater from the Great Pee Dee River surrounds I-95 in Florence County on Friday, September 21, 2018. Lauren Petracca/Staff

As residents of Georgetown await the floodwaters expected in coming days, rivers at flood stages elsewhere in the region are slowly starting to recede.

There, transportation officials have installed large barriers along U.S. Highway 17 in an effort to block floodwaters. 

Meanwhile, three rivers in the region are experiencing flooding, deluging towns as the waters engulf homes, businesses and landscapes. Recent forecast models indicate that flooding in the areas expected to be the hardest hit will likely see 2 to 4 feet of water instead of the previously forecast 5 to 10 feet.

The floodwaters are expected to arrive Friday or Saturday, officials said.

Hurricane Florence, which unleashed an estimated 11 trillion gallons of water upon the Carolinas, caused devastating flooding across the Pee Dee and coastal North Carolina. The storm made landfall Sept. 14 in North Carolina.

In its wake, the flooding in South Carolina has destroyed or damaged more than 2,000 homes and displaced at least 11,000 people.

For affected residents with insurance questions, the S.C. Department of Insurance will host a catastrophic claims center in Myrtle Beach. 

“We encourage anyone that has experienced property damage from the hurricane to come out to the center so that we may assist them in their claims process and help them recover as quickly as possible,” Ray Farmer, director of the insurance department, said in a statement.

The center will open its doors Oct. 1 and operate from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Home Depot on Oak Forest Lane.

Here's Thursday's flooding update by the numbers:

Flooding (updated, 3 p.m.)

Pee Dee River at Pee Dee

The river was most recently at 22.72 feet with a flood stage of 19 feet. While the river crested Sept. 23 at 29.59 feet and dropped steadily through the first part of the week, levels are expected to rise slightly Thursday before gradually receding for the rest of the week.

Little Pee Dee River near Galivants Ferry

With flood levels continuing to drop, the Little Pee Dee River most recently measured at 12.67 feet, and its flood stage is 9 feet. The river crested Sunday morning at 15.95 feet. Levels are expected to continue to drop through early next week.

Waccamaw River near Conway

Measured at 20.96 feet Thursday afternoon. Its flood stage is 11 feet. The river is expected to remain between 21.16 feet and 20.8 feet through much of Thursday before levels begin to taper off through Sunday.


Number of inquiries fielded by Department of Health and Environmental Control call centers for concerns related to medical needs, health department services and other concerns.


Number of road closures as of 4 p.m. Thursday. Also on Thursday, S.C. Highway 22 in Horry County reopened at 2 p.m. except for one westbound lane in the area between S.C. 905 and S.C. 90, according to SCDOT. Additionally, U.S. 17 headed south into Georgetown over the Waccamaw and Great Pee Dee rivers remains down to one lane in each direction; U.S. 701 north of Georgetown and another segment of U.S. 17 in Georgetown's Maryville area remain closed. 


Dams that have experienced confirmed breaches: Lakewind, Crawford Pond, Jordan Pond, Lake Darpo, Springwood Lake, McColl Pond, Baxley 501 Pond, McMeeken, McLaurins Mill Pond, David’s Millpond, Covington Millpond.


Number of DHEC health care facilities evacuated ahead of new flooding. The facilities are South Island Assisted Living, Blue Ridge, Tidelands Georgetown Memorial (ER will remain open) and Oasis Residential Home.

Reach Michael Majchrowicz at 843-607-1052. Follow him on Twitter @mjmajchrowicz.

Michael Majchrowicz is a reporter covering crime and public safety. He previously wrote about courts for the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton, Massachusetts. A Hoosier native, he graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism.