Horry County and cities along the Grand Strand won’t open their own warming shelters during this weekend’s expected winter storm, officials said.
The area is expecting uncharacteristically cold temperatures along with freezing rain, sleet, snow or a combination of the three, according to the National Weather Service. Local leaders have urged people to stay home and avoid driving as conditions could be dangerous.
But spokespeople from Horry County, Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach have confirmed to The Sun News the governments aren’t opening their own shelters.
County emergency management director Randy Webster said during a Thursday press conference that the county wouldn’t open its own warming shelters since the situation is different from a hurricane, in which residents are often encouraged to evacuate.
“We will not have shelters open for this event, this is much different than a hurricane environment,” Webster said. “We just encourage folks now to figure out what they can do, and understanding that we may be without electricity for several days with cold temperatures. We just want to encourage folks to check on your friends, check on your neighbors, check with your family and have a plan in place now to address that need.”
Here’s where to go if you need a warm place to stay
Homeless shelters in the area have declared a “code blue” event, meaning anyone in need of a warm place can stay at the shelters through the severe weather.
New Directions will have two shelters open for anyone who needs them, executive director Kathy Jenkins told The Sun News. The men’s shelter is located at 1005 Osceola Street in Myrtle Beach and the women’s shelter is at 805 3rd Avenue North in Myrtle Beach.
North Strand Housing Shelter, located at 2335 Highway 9 East near Longs, will be open to anyone who needs it through the weekend and into next week if cold weather persists, president Dana Black said. The shelter doesn’t have many beds, but it will accommodate anyone who needs a place to stay, Black said.
This article will be updated if we become aware of other places in the area opening their doors as a warming shelter. If you know of a location doing this, please contact reporter Mary Norkol at firstname.lastname@example.org or 843-626-0219.
Sun News reporter Dale Shoemaker contributed to this article.