Flooded areas of Marion County leave homeowners and businesses hurting

Flooded areas of Marion County leave homeowners and businesses hurting

MULLINS, SC (WMBF) - One area that has not seen flooding since river levels reached historic proportions in 1928 is still trying to recover from the current height of the Little Pee Dee and Lumber rivers.

One specific location called Fork Retch Court is the only way in and out for an area just two miles down to where nearly 80 homes sit right on the Little Pee Dee River.

One man who owns a boat said it's the only way safely back to his home even 10 days after the rivers started to rise and flood the residences.

Randy Bryant has been on the river all his life, so he's been checking on water levels every day since Hurricane Matthew swept through the area.

Bryant has lived on the Little Pee Dee River since 1950, when his father built a house there. Twenty years ago, he built his own home and has been there ever since.

The last thing he expected was to have to evacuate his home on the river and leave it behind for almost two weeks.

"We watched it from my living room," Bryant said. "It blew a tree down right in front of my house. I thought that was the worst it was going to be. I mean, we could see the river going up. The river was already high, that's another thing. If the water had been low, we probably wouldn't have gotten this high, but it was kind of high to start with and all that water had to have somewhere to go."

Bryant added his son helped save the furniture inside the home because he does not have flood insurance.

Just a mile down the road is downtown Nichols, where businesses and homes are also recovering.

The Sunny Mart is a family-owned business and has been closed for almost two weeks. It is the only gas station in town.

Employee Richard Little said the windows of other businesses down the road are shattered from water. Some, like an auto parts shop and a restaurant, are ruined inside.

Little said Nichols is an area that hasn't seen flooding hurt businesses or homes and residents are still shocked it could happen to them at all.

"There are only a few businesses in town here anyway, so a catastrophe like this is really going to take some assessment as whether or not people want to rebuild and reopen businesses, that kind of thing," Little said. "We are going to reopen and get back going strong again. It's just going to take time."

Little added that time right now is indefinite, but knows with the help of a small town and community like this, it can be done.

"We'll just wait for this water to come down, recede and people will just get their carpets up from the mold and mildew, dry them out and start over," Bryant said. "It's a sad situation, isn't it?"

Copyright 2016 WMBF News. All rights reserved.