HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - FEMA has now approved more than four million dollars' worth of grants for people in Horry County who had damage from the October floods, nearly twice the amount of funding than what was approved at the end of October. That means while the floods may seem like a memory for some, other people are still in the midst of disaster recovery.
The Paglias have now spent more time out of the house they bought on Riverside Drive in July than they've spent living in it. Plus, more of the house has been thrown in the trash than what has stayed after the flooding.
"The structure of the house, the roof, windows and doors and some electric and plumbing. That's about it," Rocco Paglia said.
The inside of the house was gutted, but before any renovations could be done, Paglia knew he had to take preventative measures, so his family doesn't have to go through this all again.
"Some of the neighbors said that the people were considering lifting it many, many years ago," he said. "Maybe they didn't have the money to do it or I don't know the situation, why they didn't do it, but most of the homes in the neighborhood did get lifted after Floyd."
The house is finally eight feet in the air, five feet higher than it was in October.
Raising the house wasn't exactly an easy process. Hydraulic jacks lifted the house up from underneath.
"It was kind of scary," Paglia said. "You hear the house cracking and making all kinds of noises and like oh my god. A couple of times I had to leave because it was scary to see."
Crews are now working to build a solid base for the house. Brick will then line the sides of it from right under the roof to the ground.
The extra space beneath the floors of the house will help keep the Paglias home if another major flood hits. They've been living in a rental because the inside was destroyed. They hope to move back home in a few months.
"Insurance only pays for so many months, so we have to get the house back together so we can get back in, get back with our lives too," Paglia said.
Horry County Emergency Management Director Randy Webster said $11 million in FEMA and SBA funds have gone to 5,000 people in the county.
Paglia said FEMA asked for all expenses to go through his insurance company before the organization approves any federal aid.