Families Speak On Their Flood Recovery One Year Later

Families discuss life after the flood

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Since October 4th of 2015 a lot has changed. Houses impacted by the historic flood have been renovated. Some have been lifted and others have been demolished.

For people living on Rickenbacker Rd in Columbia everyone has a different story of recovery. News 19 has been following some of their journeys from the start.

"I think we were just super excited and really ready to get back into the house."

Suzzane and David Richardson now have some normalcy in their lives.
"What was a day seemed like a month, because you were so ready to get back into your home and get settled,” says Suzzane.

It took about eight months to renovate, but they are back on their feet.

One year ago their home filled up with about two feet of water. Immediately they removed the walls and floors to start the drying out process.

"It was nothing but studs all the way through,” says David. “So when you walked into the house you could see from one end to the other, and basically just rebuilt it all the way up. Anything that was material, sofas, mattresses, all of that was gone."

Some things survived.

“We're just grateful, we're luckier than a lot of people,” says David. “We really are.”

Just a step away from the Richardson’s home is where the home of Earl and Cynthia Pierce used to stand. Now it is a plot of land that they hope to build on soon.

"When we left our home it was up to our knees and it rose to be over five feet in the house,” says Cynthia Pierce.

At the beginning of the year the pierces were told they would have to raise their home eight feet, because of all of the water damage.

"After considering all of our options we felt like building a new home was the best option for us."

It will take another year for their new home be to complete, but they are looking forward to seeing the finished product.

"Our builder says the first floor will be nine feet off the ground,” says Earl Pierce. “So that will be a eight foot ceiling in the garage. So that's about five feet higher than we were at the start."

Their home demolished, but their hope has been restored.

"We try to live everyday with the verse from the bible, 'This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad.'"

Earl Pierce says they too are seeing the blessing in the storm
   
"We lost nothing with a heartbeat and that is something to be thankful for."


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