MARION, SC (WBTW) – With the weather getting colder and the holidays approaching it can be easy to forget that just a few months ago the area was dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Officials in Marion County are now doing what they can to make sure residents have what they need long after the storm has passed.
“It is a marathon and not a sprint,” said Bishop Michael Blue of Door of Hope Christian Church in Marion.
Blue has been on the ground helping his neighbors since before the storm even started.
“The disaster is new to us and therefore the official response has been totally new,” explained Blue.
With so many still in need of major help in the wake of the storm, Blue and leaders from other sectors such as education and healthcare are coming together to form a long-term recovery group to connect folks in Marion County with help after federal assistance has left the area.
“After the initial response to the need for food and emergency shelter, there has to be a longer-term plan,” said Blue.”A longer-term strategy to attempt to bring restoration and–this is a loaded word–normalcy to a community.”
Blue said even after electricity is turned back on and flood damage is fixed, folks still have a long way to go to get back to normal life again.
“How many people have neglected their regimen, some of their normal upkeep, people who already had delicate health situations,” asked Blue.
The long-term recovery group hopes to gather those resources and help people connect to care, to education, and to jobs, now and in advance of the next emergency that might befall Marion County.
“Many of our people were out of work before this ever happened,” explained Bishop Blue. “This just sort of places a strobe light on it.”
Blue said there will be an informational meeting for those still looking to get connected to help like FEMA; that will be at the Door of Hope Christian Church on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard Thursday at 6 p.m.
You can also still donate to communities here in Marion County that still very much need your help. To learn more, call Marion County Administration at (843)-423-3904 and ask for Sabrina Davis.