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How the Grainger Generating Station smokestacks will fall

Ray Zukowski sets dynamite charges in small holes drilled at the base and inside wall of the 300-foot tall stacks at the Grainger Generation Station in Conway on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. The stacks will be toppled at 8 a.m. Sunday. Santee Cooper officials said a series of explosions at the base of the stacks will cause the stacks to fall like trees. Zukowski is the field operations manager for Controlled Demolition Inc. The Dolphus M. Grainger Power Station was retired at the end of 2012 after 50 years of coal-fired power generating. The stacks are visible throughout Conway. The plant is located off U.S. 501 bypass near Savannah Bluff. The public is invited to watch the towers fall and plant officials suggest watching the event from the walking trail at Lake Busbee. U.S. 501 in front of the plant will be blocked to traffic for a few minutes as the stacks fall. The bypass exit ramps and a section of Marina Drive will be blocked off for a longer period on Sunday as the dust settles.
Ray Zukowski sets dynamite charges in small holes drilled at the base and inside wall of the 300-foot tall stacks at the Grainger Generation Station in Conway on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. The stacks will be toppled at 8 a.m. Sunday. Santee Cooper officials said a series of explosions at the base of the stacks will cause the stacks to fall like trees. Zukowski is the field operations manager for Controlled Demolition Inc. The Dolphus M. Grainger Power Station was retired at the end of 2012 after 50 years of coal-fired power generating. The stacks are visible throughout Conway. The plant is located off U.S. 501 bypass near Savannah Bluff. The public is invited to watch the towers fall and plant officials suggest watching the event from the walking trail at Lake Busbee. U.S. 501 in front of the plant will be blocked to traffic for a few minutes as the stacks fall. The bypass exit ramps and a section of Marina Drive will be blocked off for a longer period on Sunday as the dust settles. jblackmon@thesunnews.com

Here’s how the Grainger smokestacks will fall.

At the bases of the two concrete towers, demolition crews have drilled a combined 330 holes and packed them with 120 pounds of dynamite.

The 300-foot tall stacks at the Grainger Generation Station in Conway will be toppled at 8 a.m. Sunday. Santee Cooper officials said on Friday that a series of explosions at the base of the stacks will cause the stacks to fall like trees. The Dolp

Around 8 a.m. Sunday, a series of controlled explosions will weaken the base of each 300-foot tower. If the work goes as planned, the towers should fall about 10-12 seconds after detonation.

“It’s very similar to felling a tree,” said Thom Doud, project manager with Controlled Demolition Inc., the Maryland-based contractor taking the smokestacks down. “You take out that notch, it starts to lean, and, once gravity takes over, it should continue.”

Shortly before the explosion, a warning siren will sound and there will be an audible 10-second countdown.

Anyone who would like to watch the stacks fall is encouraged to arrive at Lake Busbee, which is across from the site, before 7 a.m.

U.S. 501 will be closed from about five minutes before the explosion until about 10 minutes afterwards. Once an explosives technician has determined everything is safe, traffic will reopen.

Marina Drive will also be closed between Third Avenue Extension and Elm Street from 6 a.m. until around 10 a.m.

Doud said the sensation of the towers falling won’t be as powerful as some might think.

“People, they get a little amped up, they hear it and they think that they feel it,” he said. “It’s really no more than the effect of a tractor trailer rolling past your home.”

Charles D. Perry: 843-626-0218, @TSN_CharlesPerr

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