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Downtown Conway business expects long road to recovery

(WPDE)

Sitting two blocks away from the rising flood waters, Curtains N Things in Conway is open, with fall merchandise hanging in the windows, beckoning customers in.

But no one is walking by the windows, or browsing through the store. The staff has sold little in two weeks.

"The impact on us has just been no business," Angie Johnson said.

Normally, summer sales would be long over. But the evacuation, rising water, and gridlocked traffic scared people away from downtown Conway.

Now, watermelon dishes sit next to Christmas trees.

"People are scared to stop because they feel they can't get back home or can't get back in the line-up," Johnson said, glancing at a line of cars outside on 3rd Avenue.

Just out of her sight, Art Vanderhoff looked a business that was definitely closed: Bonfire Taqueria, which had at least a foot of water lapping against the sides of it.

"This is bad," he said.

Down the street, other buildings, including the Kingston Presbyterian Church's children's center and the Cypress Inn, were cut off by the flood. The Horry County Justice Center's parking lot was also partially underwater.

"You won't know what the damage is until the water is gone, and you really can't do anything until the water is gone," Vanderhoff said.

Some businesses are hoping the tides will change once the water does.

"Please come support our downtown," Johnson pleaded. "We need the business, because it's going to take us a little bit to recover from the two weeks we haven't had any business."

She said she hopes people shop locally for the holiday season to help put everyone back in the black.

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