South Carolina Flooding Ordeal Far from Over
Latest on Fallout from Hurricane Joaquin; Reports from AGRM Member Missions in the Region
New concerns are rising in South Carolina in the aftermath of Hurricane Joaquin, reports CNN. Billions of dollars in damage, dam breaks, and rivers that still haven’t crested yet are just some of the issues the state is facing despite the sunshine.
“God smiled on South Carolina because the sun is out,” said South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley on Tuesday afternoon. “That is a good sign, but I will tell you that for us, we still have to be cautious.” Gov. Haley described the damage as “disturbing” and said Federal Emergency Management Agency officials were making assessments. At least 10 of the state’s dams have breached or failed and the flooding is far from over. Meteorologists say it may be another two weeks before rivers crest. The concern now is water flowing from the upstate down to the midlands and lowlands. There have already been 175 water rescues, with over 800 people currently housed in shelters.
“We’re still in prayer mode,” said Haley. “Don’t let the sunshine fool you.”
So far, at least 16 people have died in weather-related incidents: 14 in South Carolina and at least two in North Carolina. In South Carolina, at least seven people drowned and four died in traffic accidents, the state's Department of Public Safety said.
Homeless individuals often have nowhere to turn in extreme weather situations. However, there are a number of AGRM-member rescue missions in areas affected by this storm. If you or someone you know needs emergency shelter or has other critical needs please go to AGRM’s Locate a Mission to find the mission nearest you.
Here are some firsthand reports from AGRM members in South Carolina:
- Wayne Fields, CEO of Oliver Gospel Mission in Columbia, reports that the mission is doing well and serving its purpose. “We have had the opportunity to serve more meals, provide more beds, and to communicate the gospel to more people.” Although the mission’s water was cut off Sunday evening, it’s back on now. Some staff members were unable to make it to the mission’s facilities because of road closures and flooding, but enough have been able to make it in to keep things running.
Wayne also says, “Homelessness is taking on a new meaning for people who are accustomed to being donors to the cause—now even wealthy people are finding themselves without a place to go, at least for the short term.”
- At Miracle Hill Ministries, Inc., farther inland in Greenville, the staff reports that they have a few roof leaks in one building and a small flood in their women’s shelter, but are okay otherwise. Annette Lehman says, “We praise God for his goodness and protection.”
- Bryan Braddock, executive director of House of Hope in Florence, found himself on vacation on the coast of South Carolina and unable to get home due to flooding. “We had no idea it would get this bad,” he notes. “Our men's and women's home are okay, but the flood waters are just feet from breaching our men's home. Florence is under curfew from 7:00 p.m.–7: 00 a.m., so we have stopped all activities and transportation for the men's and women's homes and closed our Mission Mart thrift stores.” Bryan hopes to get home Wednesday.