Flood victims in Johnsonville have ‘new reason to be thankful’ this holiday season

JOHNSONVILLE, SC (WBTW) – It’s been several weeks since the historic flooding hit Florence County and forced several people in Johnsonville out of their homes.

One of those families thought they would be homeless for the holidays, but instead, they say they now have a new reason to be thankful.

Six weeks ago, Harvey Creel sat on his front porch, and through tears, told News 13 about losing everything to the flood.

“We still here, and I recon that’s all that counts,” said Creel.

That loss included not being able to live with his 97-year-old mother because the conditions in their old home were just too dangerous.

In that home, the sights and smells from the flood are still left behind. In some areas, the floors are completely washed away, and throughout the home, the smell of mold is overwhelming.

This week, Creel’s story is different.

“We can call it the Red Cross house, the relief center,” said Creel walking through his new home.

Thanks to FEMA, he and his mother were able to move into a new home, just in time for the holidays.

“I like it. It’s bigger, it’s better, it has more room in it. It’s alright,” said Creel.

Creel says the new home has given him a whole new reason to be thankful this Thanksgiving, but more than anything, he’s thankful to be back with his mom.

“I’m glad to be here, and I’m glad she’s here,” Creel said pointing at his mom.

So far, FEMA has provided 87,000 South Carolinians, like Creel, with assistance.

Nearly 3,700 people in Florence County alone applied to receive help from FEMA.


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