COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - COLUMBIA, Sc. (WIS) - The consequences of the October 2015 flood are still playing out, but survivors point to their community as the most enduring part of the experience.
WIS spoke with three families about the last five years. The floodwaters damaged all their homes, but each took a different path.
Karen Whalen said the water rushed through her home on Burwell Lane in Columbia and displaced her family. They ended up renovating the home, and she got emotional when describing how neighbors provided housing and supplies in the interim.
“People donated furniture and clothes, the outpouring was just tremendous,” she said.
Bert and Amy Louthian said they were saved by a boat from their home on Old Neck Road, but when they returned to their house, there wasn’t much to work with.
“The FEMA adjuster came in and she looked at me and said ‘you know your house is totaled right?’ And I said 'Oh yeah, I know my house is totaled,” Bert said.
They ended up staying on their plot of land (by a large pond) and WIS asked what brought them back.
Amy Louthian immediately responded it was the community, who help shelter her family in the aftermath.
“We had people all around us who took care us,” she said.
In the aftermath of the flood, Sean and Shannon Habas moved from Harrogate Road in Columbia to a community just outside of Lexington.
They said a group of roughly 30 people helped them clean out their old home, and prepare for the new one.
“You get back over there, and you’re trying to figure out what to do. It’s so overwhelming in a lot of ways, like where to start? All these people you don’t even know, that may have lived just literally right up the street, and weren’t affected over in the other subdivision show up, what can we do to help?” Sean said.
“Just to have my faith in my fellow man re-affirmed like that, that was something nice to learn.”