On one-year anniversary of October floods, recovery continues along Black Creek

On one-year anniversary of October floods, recovery continues along Black Creek

FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - It has been one year since the historic October floods that swept through the Pee Dee and many people are still hurting.

One family that lives along Black Creek is looking back on what they went through.

Mary Batchelor and her husband, William, recalled the moments as they both gazed out at the creek flowing in their backyard.

"One year ago, where we are sitting right now, we'd be sitting in water," Batchelor said. "You could actually park our boat on our back porch. That's a lot of water. It's just a hard time having to put up with that."

It was a long journey the Batchelor family went through, one that cost around $150,000. However, the emotional damage they both agree won't ever go away.

"You always have a bad feeling inside your stomach all the time," Batchelor said. "Yeah. we've lost this, we've lost that. We're OK, we can always replace everything else."

Which is exactly what they were forced to do. The two had to live out of their garage for nearly five months while contractors were renovating the entire house.

"They have to tear out every wall, every floor, every bit of insulation," Batchelor said. "You have nothing left but studs and start back to the basics."

Fortunately, none of the repairs could have happened though if it were not for having their flood insurance, which allowed them to help start all over.

Even within the past year and during all of their renovations, Batchelor said water has swept through their house just from a storm.

"We had a flood again," she said. "It went underneath the house and (we) had to replace the air conditioning and ductwork again, because it got water on it on Christmas."

The couple has lived in the same house the past 14 years, and said they will take living on Black Creek over anywhere else.

"It's so quiet and peaceful," Batchelor said. "You know, we're close to the water. There's no tariff back here. We are in the country, we would never move to town. We are just happy out here in the country. If there is a flood, we just deal with it."

With preparation for Hurricane Matthew coming, the Batchelors said they will prepare with enough food, canned goods and water. It is something they, along with many Black Creek families, are used to.

"We're OK, we're happy and we'll be here 20 years from now," Batchelor said.

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