Floods Hurt More Than You Can See in South Carolina

Fareeha Amir is a Video and Motion Graphics Designer at Islamic Relief USA. She reports from neighborhoods flooded in South Carolina, where IRUSA disaster response teams are servicing fellow Americans in need of emergency help.

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I look out of the window and try to see where the flooding has hurt the most. From up above, you can’t really see much—I’m not sure what I should be looking for. The lakes look filled and fields look wet, but most of the water the news had broadcast is gone. I’m taxing over South Carolina, getting ready to land and cover Islamic Relief USA’s efforts in flood recovery there.

On the news I had heard that this was the “thousand year flood” and people had seen nothing like this before. People were talking about it on the plane. The man next to me said he lived about 50 miles from Columbia. He was out of town when the rains came down, but he said his property thankfully was fine and that there was only roof damage.

“Nothing I can’t fix.” He said. “At least I still have a home.”

But I’d find out others had it much worse. From the images I had seen on the news, there were cars underwater and houses filled with water. People were using boats to travel and it looked like there was a monsoon in South Carolina.

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What isn’t so obvious is how much damage water can really do. Flood survivors have to literally take everything out from their homes including flooring, walls, and carpets not to mention their furniture and any personal belongings that still were in tact. Everything wet becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and dangerous mold. So much water weakens infrastructure. People have to rebuild from the ground up.

Locals and the disaster response community have come out to help those affected by flooding in South Carolina. Islamic Relief USA’s teams arrived Saturday night and are set to work through Sunday morning to assess home damage and help organize response efforts.

The community in South Carolina is thankful for the help they are receiving. Even though I’m just here as a media person, I can’t forget what the man told me on the plane. Before I left, he tapped me and said, “thanks for coming out to give South Carolina help.”

I smiled and thought; maybe there’s more than one way of helping.

You can help in South Carolina too! Click here.

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