Storm cleanup begins around Grand Strand, Pee Dee

The cleanup from this week's winter storm is just getting started as backyards around the Grand Strand and Pee Dee are cleared of storm debris.

Neighborhoods in some Horry County towns, like Aynor, look like war zones, though the owner of the Aynor Inn Restaurant considers himself lucky in one sense.

His classic 1951 Cadillac survived the storm mostly unscathed, except for one dent.

But now, it's clean-up time.

"We've been running chainsaws and rakes and shovels and trucks and wheelbarrows, just trying to get everything up," said Brandon Wilson.

The same is true all over the town, where people put tractors, golf carts and plain old elbow grease to good use.

In Loris, Harley Norton knows his debris-strewn front yard is more than he'll be able to handle by himself.

"I'll call a friend in, get a couple of chainsaws out here and we'll get it all cut up, and put it over on the brush pile for the city to come by and pick up," said Norton.

That plan works for people in most towns, where public works crews will pick up brush piles, but it won't work for those in unincorporated areas.

They are being asked to take debris to one of the county's 24 recycling centers, which will be open extra hours and have more containers on hand for yard debris.

Or, to the landfill on Highway 90, which will also be open longer this weekend.

"The Solid Waste Authority is opening the landfill from 8 to 4 on Sundays, as well as letting the residents come in, contractors come in," said SWA Assistant Executive Director Mike Bessant.

Cars and trucks were lined up at the landfill Friday, where there's already a huge pile of storm debris, and this is just the start.

The recycling centers are expected to be swamped this weekend.

"We're urging you to just be patient, it's going to be busy in those centers, be careful. Going to be a lot of traffic," Bessant said.

When it comes to outdoor burning, property owners are asked to use caution when burning storm debris.

Put wide control lines down to bare soil around burn barrels or brush piles, stay with outdoor fires until they're out, keep water and hand tools ready and remember, homeowners are responsible for controlling their own outdoor fires.

Counties and municipalities in many areas have special hours set up to handle debris removal. Check in your area for specific information.