Here are four places in the Myrtle Beach area that have the highest potential to flood

Tropical Storm Nicole may drop rain around the Myrtle Beach area later this week and could triggering coastal flooding in low-lying areas of Horry County.

While the region’s rivers are well below capacity and shouldn’t pose much of a threat, the Grand Strand’s 60 miles of coastline can create issues of their own as storm patterns change with ocean conditions. Inland parts of the county are also historically flood-prone, given their proximity to wetlands and rivers.

Here’s places that are most likely to flood.

1. The Rosewood area of Socastee

In March 2021, Horry County secured $15 million in state and federal aid to purchase up to 60 homes mostly along the Intracoastal Waterway, hoping to create a buffer zone in neighborhoods including Rosewood, Bridge Creek and Lawson’s Landing.

County leaders in May said they’ve closed on the first three homes through the program, with 10 more expected to follow.

Flooding in the area is caused, in large part, by the Waccamaw River and Intracoastal Waterway not draining quickly enough when rain or a storm increases their volume of water. That’s a symptom of Horry County’s lack of elevation, meaning water meanders through this part of the water shed slowly as it heads south to Winyah Bay.

Rosewood is part of the Anthropocene Alliance’s network of 135 communities nationwide impacted by flooding.

Terri Straka, a community activist and 26-year resident of the Rosewood neighborhood, said flooding has been consistent and repetitive since 2015 simply from heavy rains or normal weather events.

Paul Rogers paddles his canoe up a Rosewood community street to bring a neighbor out of his flooded home on Tuesday. While much of the Rosewood community in Socastee in still under water from Hurricane Florence’s flooding, a few residents were able to return to assess the damage and begin cleaning on Tuesday October 2, 2018.
Paul Rogers paddles his canoe up a Rosewood community street to bring a neighbor out of his flooded home on Tuesday. While much of the Rosewood community in Socastee in still under water from Hurricane Florence’s flooding, a few residents were able to return to assess the damage and begin cleaning on Tuesday October 2, 2018.

“You stress just on a general consensus as far as normal rainfall and tropical storms and then you get into hurricanes and there’s very little to offer,” she said in a 2020 interview with the alliance.

2. The Island Green neighborhood grips for the worst

Even in dry years, county leaders and residents of this sprawling community lament about how to improve safety and access into the neighborhood that boasts more than 20 HOAs and thousands of residents.

Access to the entire area is possibly only by the deteriorating Sunnehanna Road.

Though county development regulations require two exits for any neighborhood with more than 100 homes, Island Green’s construction predates the law, so the road remains private.

In mid-August, a fast moving rain storm dropped as much as six inches in three hours, flooding yards, culverts and basements throughout the area.

Bernadette Sandlass navigates a flooded portion of road inside Horry County’s Island Green community following heavy rains on Friday Aug. 19, 2022.
Bernadette Sandlass navigates a flooded portion of road inside Horry County’s Island Green community following heavy rains on Friday Aug. 19, 2022.

In 2019,the developers of Island Green won approval to build more homes in the area without building another entrance into the neighborhood. In exchange, county leaders asked the developers to fix and improve Sunnehanna Drive once the new homes were built.

At the time, the developers argued that they would need the revenue from selling the new homes to afford the road upgrades.

Some current County Council members wonder if stronger action is needed to ensure those upgrades happen.

“Even if the planning commission did grant them something, we control the building permits, I would think there would be some method or some way so that we could stop until another entrance is made,” councilman Al Allen said last month.

3. Cherry Grove in North Myrtle Beach almost always gets soaked

Sitting along S.C. Highways 9 and 65 and beckons visitors with locally owned shops, restaurants and plenty of beach access.

But it’s also known for flooding often. In January, a rainstorm that brought 2 1/2 inches of precipitation jammed up local roads.

In 2020, Hurricane Isaias smashed into North Myrtle Beach and caused $2.4 million worth of damages along with dune damage to Cherry Grove and other parts of the city .



4. Pawleys Island and Murrells Inlet are well-known flood zones

These picturesque coastal getaways in Georgetown County are especially vulnerable when hurricanes and tropical storms arrive out of the Atlantic Ocean. In his Oct. 31 request to the White House asking for federal aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Gov. Henry McMaster’s office described what happened.

“Where Hurricane Ian made landfall, experienced high winds, rainfall totaling almost six inches, and storm surge that caused significant residential, infrastructure, and beach damage. Winyah Bay saw peak wind gusts of 84 mph. A National Weather Service post-storm survey on Pawleys Island found mud lines more than four-feet high (above ground level) along Doyle Avenue, almost three-feet high on Hazard Street, and more than two-feet high on southern portions of Springs Avenue..”

A portion of Pawleys Island pier was also washed into sea when Ian hit.