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Conway Homeowners Evacuate with More Flooding Still to Come

Debbie Long and Morgan Sellers embrace as the street quickly floods
Victoria Hansen
Neighbors Debbie Long and Morgan Sellers embrace as the street quickly floods
The Waccamaw River washes over Riverfront Walk in Conway.  It's not done rising yet.
Credit Victoria Hansen
The Waccamaw River washes over Riverfront Walk in Conway. It's not done rising yet.

The Waccamaw River has yet to crest and people who fled Conway before Hurricane Florence and returned are now evacuating, either on their own or being forced to go.

Debbie Long helped her mother-in-law move out of a neighborhood east of town near Crabtree Swamp just days before the National Guard moved in, pulling people from their homes.  So how high was the water?

“I don’t know,” she said.  “The fire ants are doing their thing where they float and if you get close to them they will swim to you.  I’ve already been bitten.”

Debbie and neighbor Morgan Sellers try to block a street, not far from the evacuated homes.  They want to keep drivers from pushing flood waters farther into Morgan's yard, like a no wake zone.   But the water is rising so quickly, within hours the road is so flooded, there are barricades.

Conway neighborhood near Crabtree Swamp
Credit Victoria Hansen
Conway neighborhood near Crabtree Swamp evacuated by the National Guard

“I don’t remember the water rising this high this quickly, compared to Matthew which seemed to be several days after the rivers crested,” she said.  “So we expect this to be much worse.”

Across the street, Doug and Sissy Owen just moved to Conway from Clifton, New Jersey six months ago.  They say they were told the home was not in a flood zone.  They have no insurance and water is quickly moving in, covering their entire front yard.

“We got cinder blocks to try to raise the furniture, but I don’t even know if that will even work at this point,” said Sissy.  She injured her neck during the hurricane and is head out, trying to find an open pharmacy to find a neck brace.

Doug and Sissy Owen's home quickly flooding.  They just moved here six months ago.
Credit Victoria Hansen
Doug and Sissy Owen's home quickly flooding. They just moved here six months ago.

Former Horry County council woman Liz Gilland drives by in a golf cart, urging the couple the leave.

“What you see now is probably not going to drain because the river is not supposed to peak until Friday,” she told them. 

Sissy  shakes her head.  She doesn’t know where they will go or how they will get there with roads rapidly closing.

“We just pray it goes down,” she said.