CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – According to an official press release from Horry County, the Operating Condition Level has been moved to Level 5 (OPCON 5), which puts the county at normal operating conditions.
According to the press release:
Issues throughout the county continue to be downed tree limbs causing some rural roads to be blocked. Some of the hardest hit locations were Conway, Aynor, Loris and Green Sea. Drivers are still urged to use caution due to tree and vegetative debris that may still be in the roadways.
The county's priority will remain clearing county maintained roads of debris for vehicle access (99 percent cleared to-date), stabilizing the county road network, and removing vegetative debris from the county-maintained public right-of-ways, which may take up to two months due to the size of the county.
Residents in the unincorporated areas of Horry County, who need to dispose of their yard debris due to the winter storm, can take it to one of the 24 recycling centers and a link to the locations of the centers can be viewed at http://www.solidwasteauthority.org/recyclingcenters.html. Horry County does not provide curbside trash pick-up services, as the unincorporated millage pays for the 24 recycling centers located throughout Horry County. The Horry County Solid Waste Authority is prepared to handle the large volume of vegetative debris that is expected to be disposed of at the centers. Additional information regarding the Horry County Solid Waste Authority is as follows:
• Horry County Solid Waste Authority Landfill will be open on Sunday, February 16, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.to accept vegetative storm debris only. The tipping fee for storm debris disposal at the landfill is $14.00 per ton.
• All Horry County Recycling Centers normally open on Sundays will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. to accept storm debris from residents only. Contractors, landscapers and lawn care companies should utilize the Horry County landfill for disposal of storm debris.
• Residents utilizing the recycling centers are asked to cut all tree limbs into pieces no larger than 4' in length.
Private property owners in the unincorporated areas of Horry County are responsible for the removal of their own yard debris.
When trimming or removing trees, please use the following safety tips:
• Stay Alert at All Times!
• Do not trim trees in dangerous weather conditions.
• Perform a hazard assessment of the work area before starting work.
• Eliminate or minimize exposure to hazards at the tree and in the surrounding area.
• Operators of chain saws and other equipment should be trained and the equipment properly maintained.
• Use personal protective equipment such as gloves, safety glasses, hard hats, hearing protection, etc., recommended in the equipment manufacturer's operating manual.
• Inspect tree limbs for strength and stability before climbing. Tree trimmers working aloft must use appropriate fall protection.
• Do not climb with tools in your hands.
• If broken trees are under pressure, determine the direction of the pressure and make small cuts to release it.
• Never turn your back on a falling tree.
• Be alert and avoid objects thrown back by a tree as it falls.
Due to warmer weather conditions expected this weekend, homeowners are urged to use extreme caution when burning vegetative debris that has fallen from the winter storm. State law requires that property owners notify the South Carolina Forestry Commission prior to burning outdoors by calling toll free at 1-800-986-5405. In most cases, the law applies to burning leaves, limbs and branches that owners clean up from their yard. The notification law does not apply within town or city limits.
Homeowners should follow the below safety precautions:
• The law requires property owners to clear a firebreak around the burning site and have the right equipment available to keep the fire under control.
• Before doing any burning, establish wide control lines down to bare mineral soil at least five feet wide around any burn barrels and even wider around brush piles and other piled debris to be burned. The larger the debris pile, the wider the control line that is needed to ensure that burning materials won't be blown or roll off the pile into vegetation outside the line.
• You must also stay with the fire until it is completely safe.
• Keep water and hand tools ready in case your fire should attempt to spread.
• Homeowners are responsible for the control of their outdoor fires.