ALLENDALE, South Carolina (WJBF)- Residents in Allendale are hoping to avoid more severe weather Wednesday. They are busy cleaning up from Tuesday’s storm.
Crews have been out all night working hard to clear debris from the roads and restore power. One police officer NewsChannel 6 spoke with, has been working since 4 p.m. Tuesday and won’t get home until after 7 a.m. Thursday morning.
The Red Cross is also hard at work to aid victims of the storm.
“We did make ourselves available for folks who needed some relief from their homes if they were damaged,” said Mandy McWherter, Regional Communication Director at Red Cross of South Carolina.
McWherter said up to fifteen homes were damaged when a tornado ripped through parts of Allendale Tuesday afternoon. That’s fifteen families who are– at least temporarily, without a home. A temporary emergency shelter is open at Allendale Fairfax Elementary School.
“We’ll keep the shelter open as long as it’s needed for the families. Like I said, last night we did not have any residents that stayed in the shelter. So we’ll assess the situation today and determine if it’s needed,” she explained.
Red Cross is working to help affected families by providing food, shelter, clothing and even financial assistance.
“Also we’re partnering with local agencies, like South Carolina Emergency Management Division and other non profit organizations. So, as we learn the extent of the damage we will be sharing more resources as those become available.”
The tornado appeared to have gone in a circle around one home off of Highway 278, destroying everything in its path.
Sarah Batson’s grandparents have owned their home for more than 60 years. She told NewsChannel 6, her mother was on the phone with her terrified grandmother when the tornado hit. Batson said it’s hard to see the yard she grew up in destroyed.
“I’ve never seen anything like this. Ever. It’s sad. I love these two oak trees behind us. They’re obviously taken out. But I have a great family picture of our big family right in front of them. It’ll be a good memory,” Batson smiled.
Batson said her grandmother believe she had protection when the tornado was so close to her home.
“One of her front window panes was broken by the wind. And she had a stand of probably a hundred angels. Ceramic angels. None of them were damaged.”
McWherter said the Red Cross will have boots on the ground all day Wednesday to help victims of the storm.
“We’re going to continue to be on the ground today with volunteers doing damage assessments, meeting with families, opening cases, and in those instances we’ll likely be providing financial assistance to help meet their immediate needs.”
Anyone needing assistance from Red Cross can call 1-800-RED-CROSS.
We’ve also had you asking how you can help.
McWherter said the best way to help is to make a donation to the American Red Cross.
Allendale County has set up 2 donation phone numbers for those wishing to help Allendale County residents recover from the recent storms.
Photojournalist: Reggie Mckie.