By Paul Gable
Two months before the next Memorial Day weekend Atlantic Beach Bikefest and planning is still incomplete in what should be the most important planning areas.
Horry County Council heard a briefing on plans for the weekend from Horry County Emergency Management Department head Randy Webster at its regular meeting Tuesday night.
Included in Webster’s briefing were details such as 600 out-of-area law enforcement personnel will be on hand to help with weekend; magistrate courts will be open extra hours to keep the detainee population at J. Reuben Long Detention Center manageable and the traffic loop.
Sounds like a lot of arrests are planned.
However, details on how local residents in the heavily impacted areas will have access to and from their homes, access to the airport and full details on medical emergency response plans are still being worked on, according to Webster.
Shouldn’t planning for local and emergency access be at least as important as a traffic loop?
The Myrtle Beach Police Department Annex on the former Air Force base will be used as a unified command center. The Horry County Emergency Operations Center will be the hub for situational awareness.
But, each local jurisdiction will maintain authority within its own boundaries, which really means there will be no actual unified command.
There seems to be two goals for Memorial Day weekend – a long term goal to discourage attendance at the Atlantic Beach Bikefest and a short term goal of keeping Myrtle Beach off the front page of the USA Today and out of national news like last year’s events caused.
Everything else, including planning for locals is taking a back seat.