n early October 2015, heavy rains associated with Hurricane Joaquin hit South Carolina causing historic flooding from Greenville to the coast. Many in the affected area received at least a foot of rain and others upwards of two feet, an amount never recorded before in the state. The governor at the time called it a thousand year flood. As a result there were more than 15 deaths and thousands of homes were flooded across the region. The rains also washed out hundreds of roads and bridges and 50 dams either completely failed or were breached. The storm displaced more than 20,000 people and caused an estimated $2.2 billion in damage making it one of costliest and most devastating storms in the state’s history.
Early Response Teams (ERT) from Region 1 quickly responded to the area, mucking out and cleaning up homes in Columbia and Georgetown Counties in October
and November of 2015. This work continued until the project transitioned in December to volunteers working on home repairs for flood survivors who received FEMA grants and were able to pay for building materials.
At the start of 2016, MDS established a project site in Andrews and the surrounding area, continuing to work on flood repairs.
The work included replacing roofs, hanging drywall, laying floor and cleanup of homes. With the help of the more than 500 volunteers working 3,543 volunteer hours MDS was able to repair 63 homes throughout the project duration.
One of those homeowners was Evelena Singletary who said she was so thankful and grateful for the work done on her home. “I have never had anyone to do anything for me, and I cannot express enough how appreciative I am for all of the acts of kindness,” she said. “I count it a blessing that I was chosen to receive your service at this time in my life.”