Residents in Georgetown County, South Carolina, where five rivers flow into the ocean, will prepare on Friday for a deluge of water in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, which has killed more than 40 people.
Lying on Atlantic Ocean between Myrtle Beach and Charleston, the county of about 60,000 people is one of several areas across the Carolinas waiting anxiously for rivers to crest, a week after Florence dumped some three feet of rain in the region.
Flooding could begin early next week, officials said during a community meeting on Thursday. The city of Georgetown on Friday will hand out 15,000 sandbags as the county develops plans to evacuate residents.
"Please heed the warnings," Sheriff Lane Cribb said. "Protecting lives and property will be our goal ... You better pray. I think we all need to pray that it don't happen."
More than three dozen flood gauges in North and South Carolina showed flooding. Some rivers had still not crested by Friday morning, according to the National Weather Service.