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Some Socastee folks pack up their homes ahead of floods — others aren’t too worried

After feeling Matthew’s wrath, South Carolina town prepares for Florence flooding

The rivers in and around Socastee, S.C. are rising after Florence. People still recovering from Hurricane Matthew live in fear - but take action - to prepare for major floods.
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The rivers in and around Socastee, S.C. are rising after Florence. People still recovering from Hurricane Matthew live in fear - but take action - to prepare for major floods.

Joe Mattingly carried a mattress to a U-Haul truck that was backed up to his front door.

He was moving everything out of his Rosewood Estates home on Sunday to prepare for possible flooding, and was frustrated he had to go through this process a second time.

Department of Natural Resource officials knocked on his door and told him the floods were supposed to be worse than Hurricane Matthew two years ago, which brought seven inches of water into his Socastee area home and nearly covered his mailbox. The damage cost $36,000 — a loan he’s still paying off.

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Rosewood Estates resident Joe Mattingly discusses the damage he experienced during Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Josh Bell jbell@thesunnews.com

“I’m going by what they’re saying,” Mattingly said of DNR’s advice to pack up and leave. “I’d rather be safe than sorry and get everything loaded.”

Last time, he had no idea the flooding would happen.

“It was last minute, nobody knew,” he said. “We didn’t have any type of warning. We saw the water coming up, couldn’t get a truck or anything so we just grabbed our personal belongings.”

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Rosewood Estates resident Joe Mattingly has rented a Uhaul truck to move most of his belongings in preparation for the flood waters of Tropical Depression Florence, expected to arrive in the coming weeks. Josh Bell jbell@thesunnews.com

Just across the street, Janice Davis said she wasn’t preparing for floods. She said she wasn’t worried about her home, though the property flooded during Matthew.

“I’m from here,” she said. “I’ve been through Hazel and Hugo, Matthew. We’re resilient in Horry County.”

Davis has done nothing to prepare her home for flooding.

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A couch sits propped up on buckets and flower pots Sunday in preparation for the flood waters of Tropical Depression Florence, which are expected to arrive this week. Josh Bell jbell@thesunnews.com

Parts of the neighborhood have been without power the last three days. Crews worked at the back of the neighborhood Sunday to restore power lines that were knocked down by trees.

Further down the road from Mattingly, Dennis Wade taped tarps to the bottom of his garage door and put sandbags over them to stop the water from flowing into the garage.

Wade said his garage flooded during Hurricane Matthew, and he was preparing for waters to rise even higher.

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“We’re gonna stay,” he said. “This is just garage area, and we’ve got an elevator, so all of our living space is up above. So as long as we’ve got power and water.”

After Matthew, the couple had to gut their garage, replacing the first level of sheet rock from the walls.

“I feel a little bit better prepared this time,” he said. “I think we’re gonna watch and see. I think they’re calling for either Wednesday, Thursday for it to crest. We’ll make adjustments as we go.”

Hannah Strong: 843-444-1765; @HannahLStrong, Megan Tomasic: 843-626-0343; @MeganTomasic

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