Two Years Later, Recovery From Flood Continues For Many

Oct 9, 2017

Two years ago, Mary Burch watched and prayed as heavy rains caused the underneath of her family home to flood and eventually rot. Months later, the 77-year- old Sellers resident was living in unsafe and unsanitary conditions as mold started to grow and the structure of her homw was compromised from the flood. The week of the two-year anniversary of the October 2015 flood, Burch was able to walk through her near-finished new home. 

Sellers is a small town in Marion County. According to the 2010 census, the median household income was less than $30,000. The South Carolina Disaster Recovery Office (SCDRO) 2015 storm recovery program was designed to help assist extremely low, very low and low income South Carolinian’s who require assistance in the repair, replacement, or reconstruction of their homes.

The program is funded through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery programs of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  $96 Million was dedicated to 22 of the 24 presidentially-declared counties affected by the historic storm. To date,  over $700,000 has been spent in the county. 

SCDRO 2015 Storm Recovery Program Progress Chart
Credit www.scstormrecovery.com

BY THE NUMBERS: Recovery in Marion County (SCDRO PROGRAM)

Sellers resident Mary Burch stands outside her near-completed new home.
Credit Thelisha Eaddy/ SC Public Radio

Preliminary Eligible Applications: 86

One Knocks (Homes selected and visited by officials for inspection) Scheduled: 49

One Knocks Completed: 48

Award Letters Issued to Residents: 30

Houses Currently in Construction Phase: 9

Houses completed and keys turned over to owner: 17

Program Funds spent in County, to date: $701,537.17

Mary Burch's home is what's considered a stick-built home. Through the program, homes damaged in the flood are razed and these stick-built homes are constructed from the ground up. Beth Parks is Public Information Director for SCDRO. She said construction time for the houses is between 90 and 120 days. So far, the program is in construction of four stick built homes. 

"It's either a 2 bedroom, 2 bath or 3 bedroom, 2 bath home; it depends on the size of the family," Parks said. Everything is built to HUD standards and they're just great, little, gorgeous houses, she added.

RELATED: Georgetown Family Gets New Home Following 2015 Floods

The program has replaced 246 mobile homes with new manufactured homes and repaired 316 homes throughout its 22-counties. SCDRO plans to serve approximately 2,100 homes affected by the 2015 Severe Storm. 

RECOVERY ACROSS THE STATE

FACES OF RECOVERY: SC Public Radio continues to cover the stories of survival and recovery from the October 2015 flood.
Credit Thelisha Eaddy/ SC Public Radio