Barefoot residents rebuild homes, communities

By Laura Thomas - bio | email

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - It's been almost two months since a wildfire ripped through Horry County, destroying dozens of homes and damaging many more.

Tuesday in the Barefoot Resort community, Swift Street resident Roger LaCourse rode his lawnmower around the dirt outlines of what used to be his neighbors' homes.

"So when they come back," explained LaCourse, "it doesn't look as devastating, with high grass growing everywhere."

However, LaCourse insists he is just one person on Swift Street helping to recover and rebuild the neighborhood.

"We all help each other," said LaCourse. "It's what it's all about."

The scene is quite different from just two months ago, as a wildfire destroyed about 70 homes, and damaged many more. Much of the Barefoot neighborhood still shows signs of the flames, from charred grass to black fences.

Construction trucks have now become part of the scenery there, as builders and painters like George Strumke help fix the homes.

"You see them, they're rebuilding already," described Strumke. "I see things moving."

Their hard work is appreciated by many residents, like Tom Collins, who lost the front part of his dining room to the fire.

"We've been out of our house now for eight weeks," said Collins. "We're getting down to the point now where we're getting ready to move back in, and we're looking forward to that."

LaCourse says he hopes all his neighbors will soon return home to Swift Street, a place recovering just as quickly as its name.

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