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      Life returns to normal after freak ice storm

      Now that the ice storm is just a memory, life on the Grand Strand and Pee Dee can return to normal.

      Sunshine and a welcome thaw greeted employees at the Myrtle Beach Skywheel, which had been closed for three days.

      "The ice was treacherous down here on Ocean Boulevard, on our decks especially and the wheel was just covered with ice," said Skywheel office supervisor Margaret Lynch.

      The attraction's box office was selling tickets again though the big wheel wasn't the only thing back in motion.

      Ann Vernon takes her two dogs out for a stroll on the boardwalk every morning, except for the last two days, when she says they stayed inside going "stir crazy". It was nice to be back.

      "It is, cause the boardwalk is beautiful and that's kind of what we consider our front yard," said Vernon.

      The Olive Shoppe in North Myrtle Beach was back in business, too. Virtually every store in Barefoot Landing had to close for two days.

      The owner says she won't be able to recover that lost business, but maybe a warm weekend and shoppers' cabin fever will make up some of it.

      "We're just hoping that people decide, hey, we've been home, we haven't had anything to do, let's get out, and everything's open," said Olive Shoppe owner Darya Suddreth.

      SC state troopers spent three days scrambling to keep up with thousands of ice-related road issues.

      They're pleased none of the accidents were serious.

      "Our secondary roads were last roads to be cleared and that's really where we saw the only issues and those were just mainly minor collisions, cars in the ditch, that type of thing," said Cpl. Sonny Collins.

      Horry County officials say the interchange project at the backgate on Highway 17 lost a day or so of construction work, but crews will be back on Sunday and have incentives to finish early, so the project is still on schedule and within budget.

      A Wells Fargo economist says the ice storm cost the Southeast billions of dollars in lost business.