More than 150 hurricane-relief volunteers take part in Nichols Blitz

More than 150 hurricane-relief volunteers take part in Nichols Blitz

NICHOLS, SC (WMBF) - The South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church scheduled a two-day event called the Nichols Blitz for Dec. 2 and 3 in the town of Nichols. More than 150 volunteers are pouring into Nichols to help work on homes devastated by Hurricane Matthew.

"It has taken the town, it has taken volunteers, just people coming from all over the county," said Matt Brodie, the South Carolina United Methodist Disaster Response Coordinator. "We have people coming from Texas, from Georgia, all over South Carolina. They have come together to just really impact Nichols in a way that could not happen without a huge event like this."

Nearly every single home, church and business in Nichols was affected from flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew. The biggest problem, volunteers said, is mold built up inside the houses. The teams tore up the drywall, tore out the floors and got the house ready for the next phase, which is the dry out. The next step is to treat it for mold.

Brodie said volunteers expected to only work on four or five houses, but with the big turnout volunteers visited 17 Friday.

"We are here to provide hope, and part of that is not just to tear down, but it's also the building back up, and that's a long process. This is just the beginning of that phase for us and as we move into that long-term recovery, we'll be here for years," Brodie said.

One home where more than 20 volunteers worked on is on Pee Dee Island Road in Nichols where Margaret Tart lived the past 43 years. She said after seeing all of the volunteers come and help, her heart is full of joy.

"To the bishop, and the United Methodist congregation, thank ya'll from the bottom of my heart," said Margaret Tart.

Tart said water was inside every room of her house when she woke up the day after Hurricane Matthew. Tart was out of her home from Oct. 9 until Nov. 9, staying in two shelters. Since then, she is living at a temporary home in Mullins.

"They are having to gut everything out, I've lost everything, everything. All my furniture, everything is gone, clothes, everything," Tart said.

Bishop Jonathan Holston of the South Carolina United Methodist Church was at Tart's house on Friday.

"To come back and for them to sit and to see people across this state giving of themselves and their time to help them, it's simply amazing," said Jonathon Holston.

Bishop Holston said because the need is still so real for people who live in Nichols, the church wanted to create the Nichols Blitz flood-relief weekend.

"It tells us that we are making a difference," Holsten said.

Click here to volunteer with the United Methodist Church or donate to the flood-relief fund.

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