Army Corps of Engineers to sweep land around Conway for WWII bombs

Army Corps of Engineers to sweep land around Conway for WWII bombs

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Finding a bomb or ordnance in your backyard is a possibility if you live in certain areas of Carolina Forest. The Army Corps of Engineers is gearing to change that.

It used to be the Conway Bombing and Gunnery Range, used by the Army during World War II. Since that time, multiple sweeps have been done to find and destroy weaponry. However, with advanced technology, the Army Corps of Engineers hopes to clear out any leftover remnants.

On Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:30, experts with the Army Corps of Engineers will meet with the public at the Hilton Garden Inn near Coastal Grand Mall.

It will be a come-and-go workshop that the public can drop in on for as long as needed.

Billy Birdwell, a Senior Public Affairs Specialist with the Army Corps of Engineers, explained they want to start a remedial investigation into the area to determine what needs to be done.

The last time an investigation took place was around 2008, according to Birdwell. Since that time, technology has advanced so it is easier for crews to do a more thorough sweep to find debris or ordnance.

Birdwell said public safety is the number one concern and is the driving factor behind this investigation. In addition, the crews want to stop any impact or contamination on the environment from the left over weaponry.

The group needs handwritten permission from each homeowner before checking properties. Birdwell explained the process is very unobtrusive. Experts will walk on a path from one end of the yard to another, sweeping 12 to 18 inches wide. They will then start a few feet over to repeat the process.

They will use a sophisticated type of metal detector. If anything is found, crews may do some light digging. If they find a live bomb, it will be immediately removed.

Birdwell pointed out that the public needs to know the Three 'R's:

Recognize: know what the ordnance looks like.

Retreat: mark the area to know where it is, but get out of the area.

Report: tell local law enforcement what you saw and where.

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