MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Despite it being more than two weeks since Hurricane Matthew impacted the Grand Strand, crews still have a lot of cleanup ahead of them.
Currently, Myrtle Beach officials are working with a disaster response and recovery contractor to remove all the debris leftover from the storm.
"Well, what we are looking at, at this site is about 37,000 cubic yards," said Sonny Armond, the vice president of TAG Grinding Services Inc., while looking at a pile of debris.
That's not counting the other mounds of trees limbs picked up by city crews and dropped off by residents.
Armond said there is at least another 30,000 to 40,000 cubic yards to go. It is a process, he said, that breaks down the city into eight debris management zones and two passes.
"The first pass, the crews go out and pick up the bulk of the debris and what's out there," Armond said. "Then we send tree crews in behind them to cut down all the leaning trees that are hazardous, over the right of way, hanging limbs that might be capable of falling on cars or people or whatever. And then we will do a second pass, where we will go in and clean up the rest of the debris."
There are still neighborhoods waiting.
One of them is the area of Cove Drive and Park Street. There, the streets are lined with piles of debris that have the residents saying their neighborhood experienced a much different hurricane.
One neighborhood, Pine Lakes, Seagate Village and 48th Avenue out to 82nd Avenue, are all scheduled to have a first pass by the end of the week. That doesn't event take into account the major roadways.
"The city is also responsible for those, so we still have to get out there, restrict traffic and get those trees cut down," Armond said.
Right now the goal for complete debris cleanup is 30 days and residents could help make it happen.
"Do not wait to put out your debris because your trucks are coming through those zones," Armond said. "If they haven't already hit your street, they will be hitting it within the next couple of days and picking up what's out there. So if you wait three, four, five days, you may end up seeing it on your street for a while before we do the second pass. But once we do the second pass that's probably going to be it and you'll be stuck with whatever's left."
Armond added they are waiting for a grinder that's been delayed because of all the bridge and road closures in the area. However, they are expecting it to get to Myrtle Beach by Wednesday.
Now under FEMA's restrictions, unless debris is covering a public right-of-way, crews cannot clean up private roads and they cannot pick up anything in bags.
The debris drop off location is at 21st Avenue and U.S. 17 Bypass.