BENNETTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) – On Tuesday, Governor Henry McMaster’s office held a Marlboro Team South Carolina Day for locals and businesses affected by Hurricane Florence.
The purpose of the event is for people to have a one-stop shop for what they need to start rebuilding.
At 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, dozens of hurricane victims filed into the Old Winn Dixie building across from Walmart to talk to nearly 20 disaster relief agencies onsite like the South Carolina Housing Authority, Emergency Management Division and FEMA to name a few.
The Department of Health and Environmental Control also provided free tetanus shots. On the side of the building, victim’s cars were loaded with donated goods and flood buckets.
Linda McMahon, the head of the U.S Small Business Administration, stopped by to talk with small business owners and others affected by the storm. She said it’s important for people to know how to get help, especially small business owners.
“Small businesses they really are the backbone of the communities. I mean who’s name do you see on the back of little league uniforms? It’s not the great big companies, it’s the small businesses that are part of the local community, they’re the glue in the local communities so it’s very important to help them get back on their feet after a disaster,” McMahon said.
As for the locals, many of them said the event is something the community needs the most right now.
“Many of our citizens of this county that were affected by this storm will never be able to recover,” pastor James Smith said. One of them looking for assistance was Jacquelina Adams.
Adams lives on Fourth Avenue in the Shady Rest community, one the hardest hit areas with floodwaters worse than Hurricane Matthew.
“The water it came up, but it never got this bad here. In my 65 years I’ve never seen water in Shady Rest that high,” Adams said. Adams said she and her husband were forced to leave the neighborhood returning days later to a damaged home.“All our food was lost and up underneath our house was gone and there was this real stink smell probably from the water,” Adams said.
Adams said she came to look into relief benefits for senior citizens. Meanwhile, others like pastor James Smith are gathering information for several members in his church who lost more.
“Homes have been lost, don’t have flood insurance, some have insufficient homeowners insurance,” Smith said.
However, Smith added the natural disaster has created a sense of togetherness in the community bringing the them closer than ever before.
“Citizens of Marlboro County have each other back and this county, we’re Carolina Strong, we’re going strong and we will survive this,” Smith said.