Upstate helping hurricane ravaged coast through response, donations

Marion County, S.C. October 14th, 2016 (credit: Jay Marett/Greenville County Emergency Management)

NICHOLS, S.C. (WSPA-TV) – Flooding continues to devastate many South Carolina coastal towns that were in the path of “Hurricane Matthew.”

Upstate emergency response crews have been in the Pee Dee area all week offering help.

“To get into the city of Nichols right now, you either need a boat or one of the National Guard’s 7 ton vehicles,” said Jay Marett, Greenville County Emergency Management Director.

Videos taken by Marett highlight the devastation. Nichols is still underwater.

“You can see the pictures, but until you can see it in person, smell it and touch it, its kinda hard to explain. Uh, there’s a lot of devastation,” he said.

This week, about 150 people of Nichols’ 400 person population had to be rescued from rising flood waters. The National Guard shut down entrance to the city.

Marett and his team brought down Greenville County’s mobile command unit to serve as Nichols’ city hall.

“The mayor, the city manager, and the police chief are all operating out of here,” he said. “Keep them in your prayers, they need it.”

Upstate response is spread out all over, with damage assessors in Edisto Beach and road crews in Hartsville.

Back at home, groups like the Greenville NAACP are moving quickly to help those in need. President JM Flemming said they are collecting non-perishable food and clothing to be sent to affected areas.

“I think it’s time for us to show our humanity to humanity that we need to do what we can do to help one another,” said Flemming.

Every day from 10:30am to 1:30pm, they are taking donations at Southernside Community Center on West Washington Street in Greenville. The facility is dedicated to helping the hurting here at home.

“We started it to help folk, to help the homeless and the hungry and guess what? They are Hungry and they are homeless. We are doing the same thing on a larger scale. That’s why we are asking for help,” said Flemming.

Together, those working on the coast and at home share a common purpose. While donations are appreciated, emergency crews ask that no one bring items directly to affected areas.

The Governor’s office will be releasing locations for donation centers in the coming days.

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