Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Catastrophic flooding leftover from Hurricane Florence has prompted calls for thousands of South Carolina residents to evacuate their homes.
Georgetown County ordered 6,000 to 8,000 residents to evacuate potential flood zones Sunday as the Waccamaw and Pee Dee rivers continued to rise.
"Now is the time to put safety first above everything else," the South Carolina Emergency Management Division tweeted. "Evacuate to a shelter if need to, take your pets with you. Your life is the most important thing to save."
Gov. Henry McMaster toured Georgetown with other government officials Sunday.
"Georgetown has never seen flooding like what is on its way -- people need to decide now what they are going to do and put a plan into action, because when the water gets here, there will be no leaving and no coming back for days," McMaster said.
Randy Webster, emergency management director for Horry County, said the flooding will be unprecedented.
"We know a lot of folks are going to be impacted that have never been impacted before," Webster said.
The port city of Wilmington, N.C., was cut off for days after the hurricane. Routes were opening Sunday but they could be closed again as the Cape Fear River rises to record levels. Interstate 95 reopened Sunday night, officials said.
Florence killed 44 people -- 33 in North Carolina, nine in South Carolina and two in Virginia.
Catastrophic #flooding is happening right now in the Pee Dee region. SCDOT crews are shoring up major roads as best they can. Now is not the time to be distracted by what roads may be open and what roads may be closed... we don't know and won't know until they flood. #sctweets pic.twitter.com/xl3Lrnf2gf- SCEMD (@SCEMD) September 24, 2018