Clelia Turbeville’s flooded Socastee house was filled with a pungent aroma.
“The sewer,” she said. “It’s backed up. The lift station is right up here, and it went out.”
This is Turbeville’s third trip back to the house since the flood. She was there to pick up a few things for her mother, who lives in a house directly behind Turbeville’s.
“It really hasn’t hit me yet,” she said. “Now when I came in here the other day by myself, I said ‘Oh my God.’ But when I seen some stuff that I was able to save, I said ‘Well at least I’ve got something.’”
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It really hasn’t hit me yet.
In Turbeville’s kitchen, her laptop and printer set on the countertop. Clothes and boxes were piled on tables and on her bed. A white Teddy bear floated in her hallway.
“Lovely, ain’t it?” she said, standing knee-deep in the brown water that filled her house. “As far as I’m concerned, all my furniture in my house, it’s going. I’m not keeping none of it.”
Turbeville said she would have to throw away anything in the water.
“Everything’s done” she said. “All the bathrooms, vanity, and probably my stove because I’m gonna be afraid to use it.”
We have all this stuff; we were gonna have a yard sale. I don't think we gotta worry about it now.
She has a mortgage, but said her $740 monthly payments exceed the $435 worth of social security she receives every month. She’s a babysitter and can’t work in her flooded home. She’s worried about making ends meet.
“I really don’t even want to come back because I’m afraid it’s gonna happen again,” she said. “But I’ve got a mortgage, so I’ve got to come back.”
Turbeville started to walk through the water to her parents’ house that was built directly behind hers. After her parents’ house on the Waccamaw River had flooded several times, they decided to move farther away from the water. But her parents’ house was just as flooded as Turbeville’s.
I really don’t even want to come back because I’m afraid it’s gonna happen again.
“We have all this stuff; we were gonna have a yard sale,” she said, chuckling as she walked past her back patio. “I don’t think we gotta worry about it now.”
She opened the door to her parents’ house. The smell of sewage was even more powerful. A bowl of candy and a bowl of dog food set on the counter. Her mother’s walker was submerged under water.
“Here’s their bedroom,” she said, opening another door inside the house. “Darn, the dressers have floated away.”
Bring something and help us out a little bit.
Her parents’ bed was stacked with pillows, blankets, rugs, shoes, clothes and chairs, but the furniture was all wet.
She said she didn’t know how long the repairs would take or how much it would cost. She said she doesn’t have flood insurance.
“As long as I have a bed and somewhere to sit and eat, that’s all I care about right now because I’ll just replace stuff as I can,” she said. “It’ll take a long time, but you know, at least I’ll have a roof over my head. And hopefully without water.”
How to help
Socastee High School wrestling and track and field coach Jeff Gibbins also lives in the neighborhood, and said he’s “one of the lucky ones.”
He said the school will be collecting donations for flooded Socastee residents during Friday night’s homecoming football game.
“It’s not going to go too far away from the school,” he said. “They’re going to be collecting all kinds of toiletries, cleaning supplies, rakes, PVC gloves, respirators, things that we need to get our community back the way it was as quick as we can and get things back to normal. There’s no way to better do that than a high school football game. Bring something and help us out a little bit.”
Christian Boschult, 843-626-0218, @TSN_Christian