NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) —The city of North Myrtle Beach is building a new emergency operations and data management center.
The new center will be built on the west side of the Intracoastal Waterway at an estimated cost of $12 million.
North Myrtle Beach Fire Chief Garry Spain said it is very important that all emergency support functions are under one roof where it can operate as a united unit. The current EOC building is inside of North Myrtle Beach City Hall. Spain said services have outgrown the space, forcing emergency crews to spread throughout the city.
“That kind of hurts us a little bit with communication, but with the new EOC, the footprint of the building and the meeting area, and the workstations will be large enough and suitable for all involved to have a decent workspace and a work area where we can work together more efficiently,” Spain said.
Spain said the new EOC will be able to withstand category five hurricanes and mainly serve as a place for emergency crews to manage emergency scenes such as hurricanes and tornadoes.
“It could be as much as how are we going to evacuate a certain area, to how can we provide shelter to people that’s been displaced? And let’s say we have an area that is hit very hard by a hurricane, how can we manage that area and how can we get their utilities back up and running quickly and surveying the area to see if there’s anyone hurt,” Spain said.
The new building will also serve as a back-up city hall, a data center, living quarters for firefighters and training classrooms.
Spain said isn’t sure when the building process will begin because of the current supply shortages going on nationally.
“The cost of construction is very high,” Spain said. “So, we’re trying to plan everything out to where it meets our needs as well as making sure it’s not going to take three years or so to build. We’re constantly in communication with those in the construction field and with an architect that is letting us know when the right time is to move with this building.”