SELLERS, SC (WBTW) – As communities across the state start to clean up the mess left behind by Hurricane Matthew, members of the Marion County town of Sellers feel left behind.
“Everything that’s gone on in the town of Sellers has been done by the citizens of Sellers,” said Brandon McClellan. He said there was no exaggeration in that sentence, describing the town of about 200 people that he said is being forgotten.
“As far as government help or any type of official help coming in, no that hasn’t happened,” explained McClellan.
“Everybody in here had to get out,” said Larry Fore, pointing from the driver’s seat of his car at a main road through his neighborhood. He said when the waters came, they came quickly.
“I drove down there and there were trees down and the water was waist-deep,” Fore recalled. “I called central dispatch and told them we needed help down here, and they sent some guys in boats down to help us out.”
Now that Matthew is gone and the waters have mostly receded, the damage left behind has many in Sellers desperate for some kind of help.
That’s why many townspeople gathered at the New Mount Zion A.M.E Church Monday evening to get some answers on how to apply for federal assistance — and what to do if they are denied.
“It is unacceptable,” said Marilee Jackson, a community development consultant for the town of Sellers. Jackson came to hear the concerns of the community and to connect them with people who can get Sellers the help it needs as soon as possible.
“I’m just amazed at how neglected communities can be and be unaware of the threats to their health,” Jackson said.
Many poor and elderly people in Sellers are living in homes suffering extreme water damage — which many fear could mean breathing in dangerous mold.
“Those homes are molded, they are mildewed,” McClellan confirmed. “If you ride up the street you’ll see people’s carpet and furniture; there’s really nothing they can do about it.”
Jackson said she and the town’s Mayor spoke with officials from FEMA and reached out to county administration to try and get help to the town. Another town meeting is planned for November 3rd, where those officials will be on hand to assist with applications and to answer questions.
Brandon McClellan said either way, the people of Sellers will stick together.
“We’ve always been a tight-knit family community,” he said.