MARION, S.C. – Hundreds of South Carolina victims of Hurricane Matthew came to the Marion County Administration building Friday for “Team South Carolina Day,” which brought federal and state agencies and volunteer groups together in one spot.
“If everybody’s like me, you’re lost as to where to go next, and to have a central location that we can come to with everybody set up, it was more helpful than you could imagine,” says Rhonda Barnhill, who lives in Nichols, one of the hardest-hit areas of the state. Her home had two-and-a-half feet of water in it.
“My home is not livable. The mold is horrible, terrible, so I have to wait until people come in and can give the estimates before I can get started, so I had a lot of questions for FEMA and the guy was wonderful. He gave me tremendous information that I needed today,” she says. She also got information from Baptist Disaster Relief, which works to clean-up and rebuild people’s homes. Other denominations were also there and do the same volunteer work.
Gov. Nikki Haley was there, first packing boxes of relief supplies and then talking to people and answering questions about the process of getting help. “You see people who’ve lost everything, and it’s hard to tell someone who’s lost everything that you’re going to fix it all tomorrow when I know I can’t. What I can do is give them a hug. What I can do is tell them where the resources are that we can help and I can try and explain the process, and that’s what we’re trying to do is just give them hope by knowing they’re not in this alone,” she says.
A second “Team South Carolina Day” for the Lowcountry will be Wed., Nov. 2 at the Jasper County Farmer’s Market, from 11:00 to 3:00. There will be a third event for another part of the state affected by the hurricane but the date and location haven’t been finalized yet.