More than a year after the October 2015 flood, people in Horry County can apply for assistance

Nikki Haley
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley gestures as she flies over a flooded area in Horry County, S.C. Haley saw her first term go about as well as she could hope and is now dealing with problems beyond her control from police shootings, to the Charleston church shooting to the massive floods in her second term. (Tracy Glantz/The State via AP, File)

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – More than one year after the October flood, some people in Horry County were finally able to apply for assistance from the state Thursday.

Larkin Belton with the South Carolina Disaster Recovery Organization says when it comes to spending the public’s money, it’s a long process with a lot of documentation, and that’s why it’s taken them so long to start the application process.

For Joann Anderson, that year of waiting for help has been a long one.

“I pray to God that something comes through for me because it’s hard,” said Anderson.

Her home was flooded during October of 2015, and now she’s still left with repairs and mold.

“The rain came and it just knocked the top of my porch in, got a lot of leaks around my windows and stuff, the underpin is just flooded out up under my home,” said Anderson.

Thursday, she applied for help for the damages for the second time.

“I came earlier, about five months ago, and filled out an application, and they sent me a letter to come in and do another one,” said Anderson.
In August, we spoke with Horry County’s Assistant Administrator Justin Powell who said the county asked state leaders if they could distribute flood money to speed up the process because they already had a list of people needing assistance.

“We have the staff to do the inspections, we have the staff to do the intake, we have that list of people. So, I think we would be able to help people move faster and get that money faster in the community to make a better good,” said Powell.

The state denied that and now have contractors of their own in the county to help people apply.

So far in South Carolina, they’ve had nearly 2,000 applicants, and a little more than half of those are eligible for assistance.

Courtney Kain is the director of Community Development in Horry County and says although they couldn’t help distribute funds from 2015, they’re ready to help victims from Hurricane Matthew as soon as possible.

HUD just announced they’re giving more than $65 million to hurricane victims in South Carolina, but right now, they know how that money will be distributed.

“It has yet to be determined what that process will look like. Again, we’re hoping that Horry County can take an active role to make sure that its residents can receive those funds and help them with this continued effort of, you know, mucking out from the hurricane,” said Kain.

The recovery program for the October flood is designed for low income homeowners, and first priority will be given to the elderly, disabled, and families with children five years old or younger in the home.

Representatives will be in Georgetown County Friday from 10-4 at 101 North Morgan Avenue in
Andrews.

They will be back in Horry County January 16-17 at the Horry County Community Development Building on Fourth Avenue in Conway.