Columbia, South Carolina (October 6, 2015)—In Columbia, South Carolina the rain has stopped but floodwaters still rage. Water must be boiled before using. A 7 p.m. curfew has been imposed in five counties. It’s going to be a while before this area heals from the widespread flooding that has brought life as we know it to a standstill.
Luckily, hundreds (and hundreds) of superheroes have traded their capes for muddy boots, putting the needs of others in front of their own comfort and in some instances, safety. The Salvation Army, in collaboration with the South Carolina Baptist Disaster Relief, is feeding these superheroes—the first responders—who are bringing the community back to life.
One Salvation Army mobile feeding unit has been at the City of Columbia Public Works since Monday morning. We spent some time there talking to the community heroes to learn about their experiences.
Here are a few of their stories:
“How do you barricade a railroad that is completely washed out?”— Street Maintenance Worker
“We were out in Eastover area recovering a fire truck who had gotten stuck on a washed-out road—the hole was 4 feet deep and 20 feet long. I looked down the road and saw 18-20 houses. I know that those people will not be able to get in or out of there for a while. A long while…” –Michael Rabun, Fire Truck Technician
“Last night the hospital had no water pressure. We got the call to bring our tanks over and start pumping water or they would have to evacuate 700 people. We were there in ten minutes. Last night we pumped 100,000 gallons of water—today 26,000 gallons of water and we will keep pumping water until we don’t need to anymore. We may get off work tonight – it may be tomorrow. We will just see.”—Richard Baldwin, 32-year fire department veteran
“I was doing swift-water rescue on Sunday—I got a couple of saves. There was this two-year-old boy on the roof of the car with his parents. It was cold and dark--the water came up that quickly and they had nowhere else to go.”—Eduardo Ramirez, firefighter
Our prayers are with the people of South Carolina and The Salvation Army will work to meet the needs—physical and emotional—as we continue to serve communities throughout South Carolina.
The best way to help survivors and relief workers is through financial contributions, which allow disaster responders to immediately meet the needs of disaster survivors.
• To give online:
• By phone:
• By mail:
The Salvation Army Southern Territorial Headquarters
P.O. Box 1959
Atlanta, GA 30301
Please designate checks “East Coast Floods" in the memo
• By text:
Text STORM to 51555 to receive a donation link for easy mobile giving.
For the latest emergency disaster services news from The Salvation Army, follow the social feed on Twitter at @salarmyeds or visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.
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About The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services
“The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.” While every disaster is unique and creates its own special needs, the core of The Salvation Army's disaster program consists of several basic services. And while these services address many of the typical needs of a disaster survivor, Salvation Army disaster relief is also flexible. Our services are adapted to the specific needs of individuals and communities and scalable according to the magnitude of the disaster.