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Conway leaders activate OPCON 3 as residents continue to clean

Piles of debris line the streets of this Conway neighborhood near Long Avenue. City officials are worried winds from Hurricane Michael will blow the debris and trees, creating even more damage for neighborhoods like this. (Taggart Houck/WPDE)

You can’t miss the piles of furniture in Conway near Long Avenue. Piles, that last month, were household essentials.

Couches, beds, family dressers. This flood didn’t discriminate. Everything outside these homes won’t be salvaged.

Whether it’s removed from disaster relief groups, or by hired restoration companies, you’ll see piles at just about the edge of every home in the neighborhood.

Add those piles of debris with wind and water from Hurricane Michael, and you have what the City of Conway needs the least, the potential for more damage to homes.

“It could cause damage to a home, it could break a window. That’s what we were worried about. We didn’t want any of that on the road when it didn’t need to be,” said Taylor Newell, Public Information Officer for the City of Conway.

The piles weren’t the only concern. Saturation from Hurricane Florence posed a threat of downed trees.

Before the city activated OPCON 3 Thursday morning, Newell said there were two downed trees in the city.

“That was something that we talked about earlier that we were concerned about. Luckily so far it has been kind of minimal,” said Newell, Thursday afternoon.

“It’s just, ‘what’s next?’ You know?” Said Justin Roof.

Roof lives in Conway, not far from Long Avenue.

He’s been cleaning and can’t live in his home, but considers himself lucky.

“At this point, we’re trying to basically kind of gut the garage, and the crawl space took the biggest hit for us,” he said.

City crews have been collecting debris. Newell said they’ll be collecting Friday, too.

“We’re still recovering from Hurricane Florence in a large part of the city, so we will be here until Michael is over and until all of the cleanup from Florence is over,” said Newell.

No word on exactly when city leaders will end emergency operations.

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