Some residents of The Neck sitting tight in face of storm
JOHNSONVILLE, S.C. – People in Johnsonville community known as The Neck have lived through the devastating flood of 2015 and the flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew in 2016, but some of them were staying put Thursday as they faced Hurricane Florence.
The Neck, situated on a bend in Lynches River, consists of houses along First and Second Neck roads.
In 2015 when the 1,000-year flood came, The Neck community almost completely flooded, forcing many people to leave their homes and come back a week and a half later to rebuild and clean up from the mess. Again, in 2016, The Neck community flooded for six days after Hurricane Matthew.
Burnette Collins, a lifelong resident of The Neck community, rebuilt his home twice from the flood and Hurricane Matthew. Collins said he had approximately 22 inches of water in his home from the flood and 9 inches from Hurricane Matthew.
Collins said that in one day during the flood, he emptied 22 inches of water from his rain gauge.
“It was just an abnormal amount of rain,” Collins said.
Although it took him almost six months to rebuild his home after both of the storms, Collins said he isn’t afraid of the possibility of flooding.
“I’m not going anywhere unless it floods or I have to,” Collins said.
Collins said he has set up a generator and secured his outdoor equipment and furniture, and he is ready for the storm.
“I’m ready to go,” Collins said. “Tell them bring it on.”
Patty Creel, who has lived in The Neck community for almost two years, said she isn’t worried about the possibility of the flooding, because she is trusting that God will see her through.
“I’m old fashioned; I just leave it in the Lord’s hands,” Creel said. “I know he will take care of me and my family.”
Creel said she would stay in her home during the storm, because she feels the safest there.
“No house can provide me what my house can provide me,” Creel said.
Creel and her daughter Jessica Pirt have been preparing for the storm, making sure they have adequate water for their family and pets, as well as nonperishable food.
Pirt said she expects to be stuck in her home for a few days and not have power for about a week.
Some community members said the water is too low right now to pose any problems.
“I don’t know how much it would take to make the water rise as much as it did,” said Pam Antwine, a Prospect community resident.
The water level has been low for a while because there hasn’t been much rain, Antwine said.
“If anything we need the water,” Antwine said. “The water is so low right now we need it.”
Antwine said that during the floods the water level almost rose to her house, but the water levels haven’t been anywhere near that level since Hurricane Matthew.