The South Carolina Emergency Management Division is currently busy working in several counties that were recently affected by severe weather. According to the SCEMD, 49 homes were destroyed, 107 homes have major damage and 141 more homes have minor damage. The counties reporting damage are Abbieville, Aiken, Anderson, Greenwood, and Union. SCEMD Public Information Coordinator Derrec Becker says that they are currently assessing damages to figure out what kind of monetary assistance they will need.
“Right now, what we are trying to do is determine how badly we were hit by this band of very strong storms that included seven tornadoes Friday night and early Saturday morning,” said Becker.
“We’re looking at the damages–the types of uninsured–that’s what we track for some type of disaster assistance. We aren’t to the point now where we think we may get assistance, but that’s what we’re trying to figure out right now is how bad was Aiken County hit? How bad was Abbieville and Anderson…three of the most severe areas right there.”
Becker is confident low interest disaster assistance loans will become available to the state to help those in need. He says that local volunteers have been invaluable during the recovery process. “We’ve had a tremendous amount of volunteers on the ground,” said Becker, “helping people clean up debris, get trees out of their houses, put tarps on roofs and that sort of thing.”
“Volunteer organizations like the Baptist Convention and the United Methodists…the Salvation Army has been helping feeding and of course the Red Cross has been staffing shelters in the affected areas. This type of disaster cannot be done, you cannot really respond without the help of volunteers like the ones we’ve seen throughout his whole event.”
Anyone who wants to help out is encouraged to contact any of the aforementioned groups.