Partners Come Together to Support Flood Recovery

Several weeks have passed since devastating flooding first struck the state of South Carolina. Recovering from a disaster of this magnitude takes time, and volunteers from the American Red Cross and many community partners have come together to ensure that people continue to get the help they need.


The Red Cross is working closely with emergency officials, community organizations and local residents to make sure we’re providing the right resources and support to the people of South Carolina. As everyone works to get back on their feet, we bring you a few snapshots from the road to recovery.
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By Kimmy Venter, American Red Cross

Shirley Green of Hopkins, SC
speaks with nurse Debi O’Neil
about her medical needs
following the recent floods.
Flood waters caused minor damage at Shirley Green’s home in Hopkins, South Carolina. She’s cleaned up most of the mess, but a long road to recovery still lies ahead.

“I’m a diabetic,” she explained. “Thankfully the nurse here is helping me replace my insulin – I have to have that.”

Shirley was able to meet with a Red Cross nurse at one of several multi-agency resource centers (or MARCs) set up across the state. At a MARC, people can access services from a diverse network of government and non-profit partners working to help people recover from a disaster.

For Shirley, the care and concern of nurse Debi O’Neil brought some comfort in the midst of a difficult experience. Besides helping her replace her prescription medication, Debi took some extra time to check out an injury Shirley had sustained while cleaning up after the floods.

“I’m just very grateful,” Shirley said. “I know I’ll be okay.”
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By Rick Harvey, American Red Cross

Red Cross volunteer Randy Liang loads
a case of bottled water into the back seat
of a Kingstree resident’s vehicle at a
local multi-agency resource center.
Randy Liang is on just his second national deployment as a Red Cross volunteer, but it didn’t take him long to figure out the importance of adapting as needed. 

Liang, from Akron, Ohio, was sent to South Carolina as a Disaster Services Technology volunteer. But at a MARC in Kingstree, South Carolina, Liang was doing much more than dealing with cables, phone lines and computers. 

Sweat beads covered his forehead as he helped carry relief supplies and cases of bottled water to the vehicles of area residents affected by the recent flooding. 

“Most of my work on the relief operations I’ve been on has been in headquarters,” Liang explained of his usual role in IT. “Before being sent here to Kingstree, I had never seen what goes on outside."

Liang was more than willing to step in and help when the need arose. And he did it with a constant smile. “Whatever I can help with, I’ll be happy to do it," he said. “The most impressive thing of all is seeing a bunch of people coming together and doing what's needed to get the job done. That’s impressive.”
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By Kimmy Venter, American Red Cross

Hopkins resident Willie Cannon meets
with a Red Cross caseworker at a multi-
agency resource center in Gadsden, SC.
Willie Cannon stepped into a MARC in Gadsden, South Carolina nearly two weeks after flooding caused serious damage to his Hopkins home.

“The water started seeping under the back door, and it flooded the whole place. There was water up to here,” he said, motioning to the middle of his calf. “Everything was floating.”

At the MARC, Willie met one-on-one with a Red Cross caseworker who helped him create a personalized recovery plan, and offered suggestions for how he could access assistance from other agencies.

For now, Willie’s friend Sharon Ladson is providing him with a safe place to stay until his home is repaired. Though her home was not damaged by the flood, the disaster has taken its toll on her, too.

“It’s stressful,” she explained. “It’s rearranged my life. It’s hard to get back on track, but we appreciate everything that everybody is doing to help.”
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By Rick Harvey, American Red Cross

Volunteers from Disaster Relief USA
serve a hot meal of smoked pork butt to
volunteers and local residents at a multi-
agency resource center in Kingstree, SC.
When people arrived at the MARC in Kingstree, South Carolina this week, in addition to picking up relief supplies and developing their recovery plans, they were also being served a nice, hot meal.

10 volunteers from Disaster Relief USA (DRUSA), a ministry of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church, were staffing a mobile kitchen parked right outside the MARC. From there, they cooked and served two meals a day for people affected by the flooding, and for volunteers from all of the relief organizations working on-site. 

“If the Red Cross needs us then naturally we get volunteers together and we roll,” said Harvey Owens, a DRUSA volunteer from Kinston, North Carolina. 

On a Wednesday afternoon, nearly 50 people were lined up in Kingstree for meals of smoked pork butt, mashed potatoes, green beans and iced tea. Many were able to take home hot food for their entire families.

“This has really worked out well," Owens said of the setup at the MARC. "The Red Cross is happy we’re here, and we’re happy they’re here.” 
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Financial donations to the American Red Cross are being used to provide help to people in need right now and will enable us to continue providing help as communities recover. The Red Cross depends on the continued support of the public to help people affected by disasters big and small. Donate to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. 




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