South Lumberton families remain positive in shelters days after Hurricane Matthew


LUMBERTON, SC (WBTW) – When the Lumber River left its banks it left hundreds of people with nowhere to go.

Five days have passed since 26 year-old Angela Kallel and her three kids left home.

“I had to leave my mother and father ashes on top of the fridge so I don’t know if they are still there or not,” Kallel added.

The family has been at Purnell Swett High School since the flooding. Kallel calls the school a home away from home.

“You got curfews, when you can eat, when you can shower but they’ve been really nice out here they helped us out a lot,” explained Kallel.

Kallel and her family lives in South Lumberton the hardest area hit by the flooding.

“If it weren’t for that little bit of help I had I would’ve probably loss it,” she said.

But she didn’t, who joins Kallel at the shelter is a man who helped save their lives.

“We saw a guy walk back and forth in my backyard about seven times. I asked him hey can you tell somebody I have twins that are a year-old and a six-year old can they come help me,” Kallel explained.

But 21 year-old Matthew Horton says he’s no hero.

“I’m just doing what a human being supposed to do is help out somebody that needs help,” he said.

Horton says lending a helping hand keeps the South Lumberton community close.

“She needed help and of course I was going to help her if she got kids that’s  number one priority: Help the kids and the women,” said Horton.

As the water recedes from neighborhoods across the city of Lumberton , Kallel and her three kids can only hope and patiently wait at Purnell Swett High School.

“For people that are still here, here may be a greater issue at hand that’s preventing them from returning where they came from so there is going to be a lot of discussion on how to get those people where they need to be,” said Department of Social Services Spokesperson Mary Grant.

Grateful, thankful and appreciated are the words Kallel says embody those who have helped her during these tough times.

“Everybody made new friends, helping each other out best way we can,” added Kallel.

Kallel says she can only make the best out of life right now and hopes to spread that attitude throughout her community.

“There is one woman who drove me to the store a couple of times. It’s just people helping people,” Kallel mentioned.