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SI natives hit by Florence

  • Flood waters left in the wake of Hurricane Florence surround the Wright home in Dillon, South Carolina.

    Flood waters left in the wake of Hurricane Florence surround the Wright home in Dillon, South Carolina.
    Courtesy of Brooke Wright

  • Flood waters from Hurricane Florence have destroyed the small town of Nichols, South Carolina.  The flooding is expected to worsen in the coming days as three local rivers begin to crest.

    Flood waters from Hurricane Florence have destroyed the small town of Nichols, South Carolina. The flooding is expected to worsen in the coming days as three local rivers begin to crest.
    Courtesy of Brooke Wright

  • The Wright family, Kallie McGuire, Brooke, Jarret, and Charles, during a Disney vacation.  For the second time in two years, the family will repair their home and replace belongings after a hurricane.

    The Wright family, Kallie McGuire, Brooke, Jarret, and Charles, during a Disney vacation. For the second time in two years, the family will repair their home and replace belongings after a hurricane.
    Courtesy of Brooke Wright

  • Flood waters left after Hurricane Florence passed through Dillon, South Carolina, fill the home of southern Illinois natives Brooke and Charles Wright.

    Flood waters left after Hurricane Florence passed through Dillon, South Carolina, fill the home of southern Illinois natives Brooke and Charles Wright.
    Courtesy of Brooke Wright

  • A pickup truck braves flood waters Sunday in Dillon, South Carolina, in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

    A pickup truck braves flood waters Sunday in Dillon, South Carolina, in the wake of Hurricane Florence.
    Courtesy of Brooke Wright

  • A truck and ambulance navigate the flooded streets of Dillon, South Carolina, on Sunday.

    A truck and ambulance navigate the flooded streets of Dillon, South Carolina, on Sunday.
    Courtesy of Brooke Wright

  • Hurrican Florence left flood waters that have devastated the rural town of Dillon, South Carolina, home of southern Illinois natives Brooke and Charles Wright.

    Hurrican Florence left flood waters that have devastated the rural town of Dillon, South Carolina, home of southern Illinois natives Brooke and Charles Wright.
    Courtesy of Brooke Wright

  • Nearly 17 inches of water fill the back yard of the Wright home in Dillon, South Carolina.  Brooke and Charles Wright are natives of southern Illinois.

    Nearly 17 inches of water fill the back yard of the Wright home in Dillon, South Carolina. Brooke and Charles Wright are natives of southern Illinois.
    Courtesy of Brooke Wright

  • Flood water sit around the home of southern Illinois natives Brooke and Charles Wright in Dillon, South Carolina.

    Flood water sit around the home of southern Illinois natives Brooke and Charles Wright in Dillon, South Carolina.
    Courtesy of Brooke Wright

  • Flood waters fill a bedroom of the home of Brooke and Charles Wright in Dillon, South Carolina.  The Wrights are natives of southern Illinois.

    Flood waters fill a bedroom of the home of Brooke and Charles Wright in Dillon, South Carolina. The Wrights are natives of southern Illinois.
    Courtesy of Brooke Wright

  • A home in Nichols, South Carolina, sits surrounded by flood waters left in the wake of Hurcane Florence.  The flooding is expected to worsen as three rivers surround the area continue to rise.

    A home in Nichols, South Carolina, sits surrounded by flood waters left in the wake of Hurcane Florence. The flooding is expected to worsen as three rivers surround the area continue to rise.
    Courtesy of Brooke Wright

  • A home in Nichols, South Carolina, sits surrounded by flood waters following Hurricane Florence.  The small town has been virtually destroyed, according to Brooke Wright, a Johnston City native now residing in neighboring Dillon.

    A home in Nichols, South Carolina, sits surrounded by flood waters following Hurricane Florence. The small town has been virtually destroyed, according to Brooke Wright, a Johnston City native now residing in neighboring Dillon.
    Courtesy of Brooke Wright

 
BY HOLLY KEE
hkee@localsouthernnews.com
Posted on 9/21/2018, 12:01 AM

MARION -- Hurricane Matthew left a path of devastation through South Carolina in 2016.

"We were barely recovered from that," said Brooke (Taylor) Wright, speaking from her home in Dillon that was flooded again last week when Hurricane Florence slammed into South Carolina.

A Johnston City native, Wright lives with her husband, Charles, a native of Stonefort, and their two children in the rural town that last week was ravaged by this most recent hurricane.

Wright said Florence left 17 inches of water in their yard and about four inches inside their home.

"After Matthew, we replaced all the flooring with porcelain tiles," she said, explaining that their home sits on a slab foundation. "We are luckier than most. Parts of the town have four-to-five feet of water."

Wright said they have had to tear out molding and throw away furniture and personal items that could not be salvaged.

She said many of her neighbors are surrounded by water.

"One neighbor rebuilt his home on stilts," she said. "It's still flooded."

Another neighbor just moved back into his home in May after it was destroyed by Matthew. Now, his home is gone once again.

The danger is not over yet.

The rural area sits between three rivers that have not yet crested.

"People with houses on the rivers ... the water is up to the rooftops," she said. "They're still evacuating. The National Guard and the Cajun Navy have been here helping."

Wright said the nearby town of Nichols, covered in 13 feet of water after Matthew, is flooded again. "The whole town is destroyed."

With highways flooded, getting supplies is also a problem.

The local grocery store opened on Tuesday, but Wright said there was no meat or milk because supply trucks could not get to the town.

Even while facing their own problems from the storm, Wright and her husband, both teachers in the local schools, are more worried about their students.

"The population here is very poor," she said.

"The students we teach, some don't even have coats in the winter. Some of these children lost everything they owned."

The poverty level of Dillon County's population is 14 percent higher than the national average.

"The county has not yet been included in President Donald Trump's Emergency Declaration Act," said Wright's brother, Brad Taylor, who lives in Johnston City.

Taylor has set up a gofundme page for his sister's family and is working on setting up a similar page for the citizens of Dillon.

Wright plans to work directly with local schools so those funds will go directly to helping families in need.

She did say that there is some hope the area will be included in the EDA.

"Trump flew over yesterday (Tuesday) and I heard there was a FEMA guy here," she said.

However, Wright pointed out that even with FEMA funds, repairs would still be financially impossible for many of the area families.

"After Matthew, we got $3,500 from FEMA," she said.

The cost to repair and replace the basics of what was destroyed in their home was $15,000.

"We have resources," she said. "Some people are going to have a hard time."

To donate to the Wrights through Taylor's gofundme page, visit https://www.gofundme.com/9dgyyr-hurricane-florence-relief.

Taylor also noted that donations could be made to the United Way Hurricane Florence Recovery Fund at www.Unitedway.org/recovery/hurricane-Florence, or to the American Red Cross.