Upstate Relief Volunteers Reflect On Record Hurricane Season

Greenville, S.C. (WSPA) – The images of flooded homes and debris caused by a trio of category four hurricanes are difficult and for the relief workers on the ground was much harder to comprehend.

“What I saw in Rockport Texas, just north of Corpus Christi, is damage I’d never seen anywhere before,” said John Ligon, a Red Cross volunteer. “It was unreal what happened to this little town.”

John Ligon joined the Red Cross on the same day Hurricane Katrina formed. This hurricane season, he spent weeks traveling between Texas and Florida, providing security and making sure shelters for the displaced were safe.

“Everything was damaged and destroyed there,” he said. “There were roofs off buildings. There was one jewelry store that the walls were blown out and the roof just went straight down on top of it.”

Janice Lehman, another veteran Red Cross volunteer, spent two months in the area managing the shelters for people forced out of their homes by rising floodwaters.

“This was one of the very worst that I have seen especially in the Houston, Corpus Christi and Aranses county areas,” Lehman said.

Lehman spent most of her time in Aranses County which was under a mandatory evacuation. Residents there were unable to return because they lost their homes.

“50 percent of the entire county was underneath the ocean and people had just lost everything they had,” she said.

Most of the people who lost their homes are still living in temporary housing.  Dozens of Red Cross volunteers are still in the area helping those displaced get back on their feet.