President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit Conway on Wednesday as part of a tour of areas in the Carolinas damaged by Hurricane Florence, The Post and Courier has learned.
The Horry County seat of nearly 23,000 people is bracing for a record flood from the Waccamaw River next week. The river is at major flood stage level at nearly 16 feet. The Waccamaw is expected to peak at more than 20 feet next week, nearly 10 feet above flood stage and two feet above the record crest set in 2016.
The president's Conway visit was confirmed by a source briefed on the trip. He is expected to arrive in the afternoon and a visit a flooded neighborhood before meeting with state and local government leaders.
A White House advisory sent Tuesday night did not include a visit to South Carolina after Air Force One lands at the Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station in Havelock, N.C., around 10:20 a.m. Wednesday. Florence made landfall near Wilmington, N.C., as a Category 1 storm on Friday.
But Trump is scheduled to spend seven hours on the ground before heading back to Washington, and no stops were listed on the White House advisory.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said earlier Tuesday that he did not know if Trump would visit his state.
"He's been here in spirit," McMaster said referring to his discussions with the president and members of the administration during the storm.
Much of South Carolina's Pee Dee region just west of Myrtle Beach is flooding or under threat of flood after Florence dumped up to 20 inches of rain during its slow trek through the state over the weekend.
The Pee Dee, Little Pee Dee and Waccamaw rivers all are in major flood stages and are still rising. More than 30,000 people are in danger from the flooding, state emergency leaders said.
The floodwaters have shut down more than 200 roads and bridges in South Carolina.
Rising waters have blanketed some towns in the state's northeast corner, including Cheraw in Chesterfield County that has lost its water plant. Six dams have been overtopped.
State road crews are scrambling to install temporary barriers to keep floodwaters off U.S. 501 and U.S. 378, major arteries into Myrtle Beach.
The storm is blamed for 37 deaths in three states, including eight in South Carolina.