Hurricane Matthew victims in Socastee reflect one year later

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) –  Exactly one year ago, Hurricane Matthew hit the Grand Strand, causing severe flooding in several communities, including the Rosewood area in Socastee.

“It’s been rough. We’re glad we’re over it, but now it’s hurricane season again and we’re worried that it might happen all over again,” said Jasmin Cortes. Her house off Rosewood Drive flooded during the hurricane. “Oh my gosh, it was horrible,” she said. “The hurricane came and went. The weather was beautiful the next day, but then the water started coming up, and it just kept coming and coming.”

“It looked like somebody opened a water damn or something because it just started moving up,” said Pete Paredes. He lost a car and a motorcycle to the flooding. His family wasn’t able to get back into their home for two months. “It was kind of depressing really. To come in, start slowly, slowly, because you can only do so much at a time,” he said.

Cortes and her husband were forced out of their home for eight months. She said they had to completely renovate their home, and the total damage was worth about 70 thousand dollars. “It was hard. It was very hard. Knowing that you can’t get back in because there’s so much that needs to be done,” Cortes said.

Both say their homes are almost back to normal now. Cortes said, “The house is pretty much finished. We still have touch up stuff to do – paint, a few cabinet fixes, small stuff.” However, according to Paredes, Matthew has left a permanent mark. “Every time we hear about a hurricane, we think ‘I hope it doesn’t flood again’,” he said.

Paredes and Cortes have both lived in their homes for more than 25 years, but both said they’ll leave before they go through another severe flood again. “We’ll probably sell and move to some other place,” said Paredes. Cortes added, “There are a lot of people who have moved out, who have sold their homes, and we’re concerned. Should we sell before this happens again?”