ELGIN, S.C. (WIS) - Haigs Creek Community Church in Elgin opened its doors to people evacuating ahead of Hurricane Dorian.
About a dozen people from Beaufort, S.C are staying at the church, and plan to stay until Dorian clears the coastal area.
Pastor Troy Wilson of Haigs Creek Community Church said giving people a place to stay during a time of need is personal for him, as he and his wife had to evacuate for prior hurricanes while living near the coast.
“I’ve been through Irma, and my wife has been through Katrina where they lost their house and so we always said that anytime we had a chance to help people we would and so we were looking forward to them coming,” Wilson said. “The hard part is not only getting to stay, their hard part will be going back because you don’t know what you’re going back to.”
Wilson said he started prepping his church on Sunday to give folks evacuating the coast a safe space.
The church also welcomed evacuees to bring their pets.
“We had a lot of people to loan us air mattresses, a couple of them are ours and cots,” Wilson said.
Wilson adds the community and volunteers helped get the church ready.
Kelly Lesesne was one of the evacuees from Beaufort, who stayed at the church with her two twin boys, Blake and Austin.
“This community has been awesome, we’ve seen the outpour of people really just come together and support us emotionally and with more than what we could imagine,” Lesesne said.
As evacuees pray to return to their home with minimal damage, Pastor Wilson said his doors remain open if more people need a safe place to brave out the storm, free of charge.
If you’d like to reach Pastor Wilson for a place to stay, you can call 803-420-2104.
According to the Department of Social Services, there are more than 11,000 people in shelters across the state after evacuating because of Hurricane Dorian.