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‘A lot of our neighbors aren’t so lucky.’ Conway couple visits home after river crest

Mike Hanlon stood on the deck of his Lee’s Landing home Wednesday morning, looking at the water that was a couple feet from entering his house.

“We got lucky, dodged a bullet,” Hanlon said.

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Mike Hanlon looks down from the porch of his Lee’s Landing home after the flood had crest on Wednesday. To his great relief, he found that the flood’s crest had not reached their home’s main level. The Waccamaw River at Conway crested Wednesday at well over 21 feet flooding many downtown homes. Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. Jason Lee jlee@thesunnews.com

Hanlon and his wife, Gina, pulled up to their home on a jon boat, their friend Sierra Abbott taking time from his business so the couple could see the house, which they haven’t visited since Sunday.

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Docking the boat at the stairs leading up to their living space, the Hanlons looked at their home with a sense of relief.

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Gina Hanlon her husband Mike arrive to their Lee’s Landing home in a jon boat on Wednesday to check out flood damage. To great relief, the couple found that the flood’s crest had not reached their home’s main level. The Waccamaw River at Conway crested Wednesday at well over 21 feet flooding many downtown homes. Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. Jason Lee jlee@thesunnews.com

The Waccamaw River crested around noon Wednesday at over 21 feet, leaving several houses along River Road underwater. Water lapped around Hanlon’s home, submerging his garage, which he used as a motorcycle repair shop. The living space was dry.

“Every day that you can, you just hope and pray the water does not go into your home,” Gina Hanlon said.

Inside, the guest bedroom is filled with motorcycle parts. Halloween decorations still in boxes sit in the living room. Glassware, which was displayed in cases, now covers the kitchen counters. Gina Hanlon was afraid the floors would buckle, causing the cases and the glassware to crash to the floor.

The couple moved out of their home over a week and a half ago, filling a motor home and a storage unit with their belongings. Motorcycles and parts are spread across the county, stored by Mike Hanlon’s family.

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“I just thank God we’re not in that situation,” Gina Hanlon said, looking at houses that are almost completely submerged.

The Hanlons, who moved into their home less than a year ago, are staying at his sister’s house with their yellow lab, Buddy, and two cats, Majik and Cookie. But the uncertainty of when the couple can move back into their home has them searching for a new place to stay.

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Sierra Abbott takes Gina Hanlon her husband Mike (not pictured) to their Lee’s Landing home in a jon boat on Wednesday. To great relief, the couple found that the flood’s crest had not reached their home’s main level. The Waccamaw River at Conway crested Wednesday at well over 21 feet flooding many downtown homes. Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. Jason Lee jlee@thesunnews.com

Mike Hanlon said they are looking into purchasing an RV to wait out the rest of the flooding.

In October, the couple was planning on hosting a neighborhood party, where friends could come together to fish and grill out. Despite the flooding, Gina Hanlon is still hoping to host the event.

“It’s a community,” she said. “It really is. People helping each other. It’s really phenomenal the way everybody has pulled together in this time.”

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Sierra Abbott takes Gina Hanlon her husband Mike to their Lee’s Landing home in a jon boat on Wednesday. To thier relief, the couple found that the flood’s crest had not reached their home’s main level. The Waccamaw River at Conway crested Wednesday at well over 21 feet flooding many downtown homes. Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. Jason Lee jlee@thesunnews.com
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