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‘We’re hoping the worst is over.’ Conway area prepares for potential flooding

Rising waters at Crabtree Swamp in Conway, SC

Rising waters threaten to overflow Crabtree Swamp in Conway, S.C., Sept. 15, 2018. According to the USGS, Crabtree Swamp was around 11 feet Thursday but approaching 16 feet by Saturday afternoon.
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Rising waters threaten to overflow Crabtree Swamp in Conway, S.C., Sept. 15, 2018. According to the USGS, Crabtree Swamp was around 11 feet Thursday but approaching 16 feet by Saturday afternoon.

Conway business owners believe most of the danger from Florence, now a tropical storm, has passed, but the National Weather Service shows flooding may still pose a serious risk.

The latest NWS river flooding forecast predicts “major flooding” for Conway from the Waccamaw River.

Steve and Jeannie Schutte said they expected to find their ABC store, Yeager’s on Mill Pond Road next to Crabtree Swamp, soaked from rain damage.

They found the store dry Saturday morning and decided to open. After Friday’s wind and rain, they said they aren’t worried about any further damage, even though the store overlooks the already high, and likely rising, water of Crabtree Swamp, an offshoot of the Waccamaw River.

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Mike and Dottie Klein place sandbags in front of their door after checking on their business, Rivertown Yoga, in downtown Conway, S.C. Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018. Ethan Hyman ehyman@newsobserver.com

“It’s really got to get a lot of water for it to get up here,” Steve said.

Karen and Eddie Young of Wild Wing came by their downtown Conway store Thistle & Clover to make sure there wasn’t any damage just before 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

“I’m not sure (water) would ever make it up here,” Eddie said.

Eddie said the couple lives in Wild Wing and didn’t see any damage to their home from the storm.

Karen said the Waccamaw River in Conway tends to flood, though serious flooding hasn’t started yet. She said flooding has wrecked the town in the past.

“Conway was pretty desolated,” Karen said. “It was pretty devastated by Floyd.”

Dottie Klein has owned a downtown yoga studio for about four months. She said she was worried about flooding around the back of the studio near the river.

Dottie and Mike Klein stopped at the store Saturday morning to clean. A tree had fallen and ripped the awning at the studio, Riverfront Yoga.

“Thank God the awning was there,” Dottie said, “or it would’ve hit the window.”

Dottie said she has plenty of extra sandbags to pile up in front of her studio doors. She uses them in her studio for “restorative yoga.”

Residents expect flooding from the Waccamaw River in the next few days, but Mike hopes the studio won’t see more damage.

“We’re hoping the worst is over,” Mike said. “I know we still have the back of the storm to deal with.”

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