Recovery efforts continue in South Beltline neighborhood

Recovery efforts continue in South Beltline neighborhood

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - With at least 50 homes damaged or destroyed when Gills Creek flooded the South Beltline area, residents living there are very thankful for the help they are receiving from fellow members of the community.

Some of the people living in the area say the water reached nearly 20 feet in some areas of their neighborhood.

Now dozens of people living there are in limbo, waiting to hear from the city whether their streets will now be considered a flood plain, forcing them to raise their homes several inches or possibly even a few feet.

At the same time, some residents are still waiting to hear how much money FEMA will grant them or other organizations.

Many residents are now displaced and trying to figure out how they'll balance a mortgage, the cost of a hotel or rent and tens of thousands of dollars in repairs.

Some are turning to strangers and using sites like GoFundMe, hoping to find anyone who can help them rebuild. Other residents are wondering if it is even worth staying to pick up the pieces and rebuild their homes.

"It's just a long road and a process and all these things need to happen in order for us to make those decisions, but a lot of the work we've been doing is stuff that can't wait. Because it can't wait two weeks before all the mold and structural damage and all that stuff. So we've been doing what we need to get done, in order to have that time to go take a breath and figure it out," resident Rachel Larratt said.

In the beginning neighbors helped neighbors, but late last week, others started offering a hand.

Volunteers have helped people drag out any belongings they can salvage along with clearing away hundreds of tons of debris.

First a Facebook "garage sale" group stepped in with manpower and donations.

On Monday volunteers from Mormon Helping Hands and veteran group Team Rubicon were on hand to help clear homes. They also set up a shopping mall of donations at the corner of Glenhaven and Whispering Pines to distribute clothing donations, personal hygiene items and cleaning supplies.

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