CONWAY, S.C. (AP) Wind-whipped wildfires chased churchgoers from worship, forced hundreds of residents to flee homes and closed highways across the rain-starved Carolinas and Virginia on Sunday.
At least one business and an unknown number of homes and small structures were damaged by a blaze near the South Carolina coast, though no injuries were reported, authorities said.
About 60 homes were briefly evacuated Sunday afternoon as the blaze sent smoke billowing above this city of about 11,000 people about 15 miles northwest of Myrtle Beach.
"The flames were at the top of the trees, and I could feel the heat," said Lewis Cooper, 37, who fled the fire.
In North Carolina, winds gusting up to 60 mph in some areas toppled trees and power lines and also fanned brush fires.
The Willow Spring Free Will Baptist Church in Cleveland, N.C., just south of Raleigh, was holding a worship service when a fire forced it to evacuate, the town's Fire Chief Chris Ellington said.