S.C. disaster relief volunteers launch ‘labor-intensive’ Florence response; mud-out teams needed

Nearly a month after Hurricane Florence came ashore in North Carolina and stalled over South Carolina, flooding thousands of homes and businesses in the Pee Dee region, South Carolina Baptist Disaster Relief officials are calling on trained “mud-out” teams to assist in helping homeowners begin the arduous process of getting back into their houses.

As the November issue of The Courier went to press, the Waccamaw River in Horry County remained above flood stage, and volunteers still didn’t have access to all flooded areas, according to South Carolina Baptist Disaster Relief director Randy Creamer.

Working from field operations centers at Living Water Baptist Church in Longs and North Conway Baptist Church, volunteers have begun the months-long, “labor-intensive” process of assisting residents with ripping out waterlogged sheetrock and carpet and treating houses for mold, Creamer said. The process could extend well past Christmas.

Disaster relief teams from Georgia and Florida have assisted South Carolina volunteers. Those teams have returned to their own states to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, Creamer said.

Also, working alongside trained disaster relief teams, college students have been helping with the mud-out efforts during their fall breaks.

Church groups or individuals who wish to volunteer at the scene but haven’t gone through disaster relief training are encouraged to call 803-227-6008. Volunteers will be paired with trained disaster relief teams.

In addition to the mud-out effort, Creamer said donations of gift cards (especially from home supply stores) will be helpful. The cards will be passed on to directors of missions in affected areas and distributed over the coming months to those most impacted by the floods. Gift cards, along with monetary donations, may be sent to SCBC Disaster Relief, 190 Stoneridge Dr., Columbia, S.C., 29210. For more information, visit scbaptist.org.