HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A glimmer of hope was seen this week in the Rosewood community as county crews picked up the household debris residents weren't so sure they'd be getting rid of for a while.
The cleanup efforts continued more than a month after Hurricane Matthew impacted the Grand Strand and the Pee Dee.
"I've been here 33 years, and this house has never flooded," said Rosewood resident Darrell Smith.
This time, Smith wasn't as lucky. More than 20 inches of water flooded his home and, like many of his neighbors, he's been in full-on demolition mode.
"The first week it wasn't hard because you had so much going on, with tearing it out and getting it out and doing all that," Smith said. "But at the end of that first week, when we got as much as we could done on the inside, it was kind of hard waiting."
With the piles of trash mounting, Smith got a dumpster just in case the county wasn't going to pick it up.
"Then I was amazed they came through and virtually raked it up and did everything they could to bring it back as normal as they could get it," he said.
Crews are still working their way through the neighborhood, making multiple trips multiple times a day.
Getting rid of the piles is helping to lift the spirits of the residents.
"I really think the debris removal did a lot, if not just for health but for psychology, because yeah that was depressing," Smith said. "It looked like a third-world country or an old clip from Beirut or something."
Though he may be out of his home for another three to five weeks, Smith knows his neighbors are dealing with their second or even third flood in just a year. He hopes this hard time continues to bring the neighborhood closer together and make them stronger.
"Life will throw obstacles at you, but I also learned who my best friends were, learned things about myself," Smith said. "And we're never the same after something like that, and hopefully it makes you a better person and you learn the right lessons from it."