Over the last week, sustained rainfall – in some places as much as 17 inches in as many hours – has resulted in flooding of historic proportions across the state of South Carolina. The Salvation Army is working with state and local emergency management officials to serve the community in need in some of the state’s hardest hit areas.
On Monday, the Charlotte Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (“EDS”) team deployed to Columbia, S.C., as a part of the initial response to the historic flooding.
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said the state has endured its worst rain in 1,000 years. Some of the city’s residents have been without power, and many have been without drinking water because of water main breaks from the flooding. The city also issued a boil water advisory for all of its 375,000 customers.
In the short-term aftermath of the storm, Salvation Army officers and staff are focusing primarily on the immediate needs providing food, hydration, and emotional and spiritual care to impacted individuals and families. The team deploying from Charlotte will begin feeding immediately where the need is greatest.
“First and foremost, we want the people in Columbia and across South Carolina to know we are praying for them and that we're here ready to stand by them,” said Major Larry Broome, area commander for The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte.
Volunteer Rick Vosteen, a part of the team in Columbia, has served in disaster areas for more than 20 years.
“When you've lost everything, a hot meal and a kind word, a touch on the shoulder often means everything as far as bringing hope to people,” he said.
For the latest emergency disaster services news, please visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org and follow the EDS team on Twitter @SalArmyEDS.