City of Conway declares state of emergency ahead of ice storm expected Friday

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The City of Conway has declared a state of emergency ahead of an ice storm expected to arrive in the Grand Strand Friday.

Thursday afternoon, Conway city council convened virtually in an emergency meeting. The council voted unanimously to declare a localized state of emergency in anticipation for the potentially “catastrophic” weather event.

The state of emergency begins Thursday and will automatically last 60 days, although it can be shortened or extended by an act of council, City Administrator Adam Emrick said.

Conway Fire Department Chief Phillip Hendrick recalled a storm in the winter of 2014 that resulted in widespread power outages and downed trees.

Hendrick said the ice storm expected to arrive in Horry County Friday morning could be comparable to the 2014 winter weather event. The storm left the city with 2,000 tons of debris that was picked up in the following weeks and months, Hendrick said.

Declaring a state of emergency would help the city with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reimbursements, should this weekend’s storm rise to that level, Emrick said.

The latest update from the National Weather Service in Wilmington, N.C., indicates forecasters are increasingly confident that the area will see freezing rain, slick roads, and downed trees and power lines caused by ice. The storm is expected to begin early Friday and last through Saturday morning, though ice may not begin to melt for a couple days.

An ice-storm warning is in effect in a South Carolina county and five North Carolina counties, according to the NWS. Those are Horry County, S.C., and Columbus Brunswick, Bladen, New Hanover and Pender counties in North Carolina.

Inclement weather prompted Horry County Schools to move to online learning Friday, the district announced Wednesday.

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