Dillon County digging out from Hurricane Matthew devastation

The Pee Dee continues to dig out after unprecedented flooding from Hurricane Matthew caught many off guard.
The Pee Dee continues to dig out after unprecedented flooding from Hurricane Matthew caught many off guard.

LAKE VIEW, SC (WBTW) – The Pee Dee continues to dig out after unprecedented flooding from Hurricane Matthew caught many off guard.

“It was a miracle. If it was the other tree she’d be gone,” said Richard Cook, looking at the damage to his mother’s house in Lake View.

The Cook family is counting its blessings after Matthew blew through this past Saturday.

“I’ve never seen anything like this, I mean Hugo wasn’t nowhere close,” Cook recalled.

Ann Cook and her other son Tony were riding out the storm her home Saturday when a large tree in the front yard gave way and landed inside the family kitchen.

"It was a miracle. If it was the other tree she'd be gone," said Richard Cook, looking at the damage to his mother's house in Lake View.
“It was a miracle. If it was the other tree she’d be gone,” said Richard Cook, looking at the damage to his mother’s house in Lake View.

“It shocked me that the tree was in the house,” said Tony Cook. He said he’s seen a lot of things, but nothing like what Hurricane Matthew did to the home.

“I didn’t think it was gonna be this bad,” said Tony Cook. “I was laying down here on the couch and I saw this pine tree in the back of the yard swaying pretty bad and then all of a sudden this one came on top of the house.”

There are two large pine trees in the front yard of the Cook house, and luckily it was not the other one–that sits where Ann Cook watches TV in her living room–that fell on the home.

“That tree which if 15 feet that way, if it would have fell it would have fell on her,” said Richard Cook.

Though the family kitchen is damaged, Ann’s other son said the whole town is feeling the strain of days in the dark.

“I’ve got more trees down than I’ve ever had before,” Richard said. “There is not a person in Lake View with power.”

Richard Cook said the lack of power has taken a toll on his livestock as well.

“I’ve got 900 cows all over the county running everywhere, no electricity to keep them in,” he explained. “We found three dead because trees had fell on them.”

“Water is a powerful thing,” explained Sonny McRae, the 911 Director for Dillon County. He explained how the county was unprepared for what Matthew brought.

"Water is a powerful thing," explained Sonny McRae, the 911 Director for Dillon County.
“Water is a powerful thing,” explained Sonny McRae, the 911 Director for Dillon County.

“We were just not really ready for this situation,” McRae said. “I mean the water was unreal.”

Officials said they are currently working on assessing the damage county-wide and ask for everyone to be patient while they try to restore power and open closed roads.

“Right now all we can do is pray and hope that everyone is all well.”