Dillon families try to salvage memories from Hurricane Matthew’s wake

The city of Dillon was hard hit by Matthew's floods. Several families say they had to run from their homes as the waters quickly rose

DILLON, SC (WBTW) – The city of Dillon was hard hit by Matthew’s floods. Several families say they had to run from their homes as the waters quickly rose.

Harrowing stories–that’s all these families who live on South First Avenue in Dillon have left after Hurricane Matthew blew through the city this past weekend. Stories of survival as the waters rose Saturday.

“It was too late,” said Don’te Manning as he recalled the sight just days ago. “We came to the back and the back door was flooded.”

Manning was inside the house with his family when he started getting calls from neighbors telling him it was time to leave–and leave quickly.

“Came to the front, there was water up to the breezeway,” said Manning. “About say 11:30 the water was so high the water was coming across the porch it was starting to run inside the house.”

Manning’s family home is empty now, just like houses up and down the block, the contents strewn about the front yards and street as residents try to dry out the pieces of their lives they’ve been able to salvage.

South 1st Avenue in Dillon digs out from Hurricane Matthew's devastating floods
South 1st Avenue in Dillon digs out from Hurricane Matthew’s devastating floods

“The whole back was filled up with water,” said Cedrick Wilson, pointing across the yard. “A lot of stuff got lost.”

Wilson lives on the block, and said his landlord told them to pull carpet and bedding out of their homes and dry it off. While they wait for help to come to their street, several decided to pass the time by playing horseshoes.

Dillon families play horseshoes to try and forget about the devastation for awhile
Dillon families play horseshoes to try and forget about the devastation for awhile

“We’re trying not to think about the losses too much, you know we don’t get paid that much,” said Wilson, smiling. “We try and take the good and the bad and in stride.”

“Some of us have coal, and we’re doing it the old style way,” said Linda Bethea

Bethea lives right up the street and said she’s getting impatient waiting on help to arrive here in Dillon.

“I’ve got a granddaughter with asthma and I’ve been trying to go place to place to help her,” she said. “We haven’t heard anything from anyone about saying they’re coming out to help us.”

Dillon District Two councilwoman Connie Manning who was out trying to lift spirits was trying to keep her people from panicking while they wait for help to arrive.

“Be patient, please be patient,” Manning pleaded. “Be patient and give us time to get the trees off the lines and the power back on, lots of people have been asking ‘When’s our lights coming back on?’ As soon as possible.”

While they wait, Don’te Manning said he’s just happy everyone in his family is okay.

“Long as everyone made it and everyone’s safe, can’t wish for too much more,” he said.