Flooding in Conway shows the need for I-73, SC congressman says

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Rep. Tom Rice, waiting on a helicopter at Grand Strand Airport on Tuesday morning, said he’d visited shelters and emergency operations centers in Horry, Marion, Dillon and Marlboro counties the past few days.

He was planning to take a helicopter tour of Florence, Marion and Dillon counties with a focus on how the agricultural communities are doing. He’s heard loss of corn and cotton has been a major issue, but overall the storm wasn’t as devastating as it could have been.

He urged those facing flood damage to their homes to contact FEMA for support but he warned that families without flood insurance that could afford it likely wouldn’t receive assistance from the federal government.

Asked about the concern in Conway regarding the plan to keep flood waters from closing U.S. 501, Rice said he’s using the opportunity to push for funding for Interstate 73, a project he’s been passionate about since taking office.

He called Sen. Lindsey Graham on Monday, he said, and told him that sandbags were a poor solution to keep a top tourist destination open to the public.

“It’s a very obvious exclamation point on one of the main reasons we need (I-73),” he told The Sun News.