Patricia had just settled in for the night when it began to rain outside. She didn’t follow the news and wasn’t aware that Hurricane Joaquin was threatening the entire southeast coast. Within 24 hours, the rainfall in South Carolina had reached record levels. Rainwater was already filling her home when the nearby dam failed. Patricia and her son were trapped inside for days. There was no way in and no way out.
“Our apartment is at the bottom of a hill so the water was coming from different directions and it was all just there. [The emergency responders] had to wait until the water dried up because that was the only way for them to come in and to see if we needed anything. That’s when they brought the water and food. We weren’t able to go anywhere and a lot of people didn’t have food, didn’t have water, they didn’t have anything.”
Hurricane Joaquin devastated the entire region with a magnitude of flooding seen only once every 1,000 years. As a result, Patricia lost everything she had worked so hard for. Her apartment and everything inside were ruled total losses. She had nowhere to turn and with her small savings already exhausted, she and her son soon found themselves living in their car.
After several months of working to get back on her feet, she turned to The Salvation Army, in need of food and other assistance. There, she found compassion and focus on long-term recovery efforts. They provided more than emergency access to food and water; they wanted to help her rebuild her life. She was able to meet with a caseworker who helped Patricia access the resources she so desperately needed.
“But a lot of other places were like ‘We’re booked and we can’t talk to anybody.’ I have never contacted The Salvation Army and they said that. If there is nobody in South Carolina, The Salvation Army is here, and that’s a blessing to know that.”