South Carolina tornado damage breakdown

By: Gene Petriello Email
By: Gene Petriello Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock; April 3, 2008

BATH, S.C. --- Families across South Carolina looking for federal help after the March 15th tornados finding out some bad news. But, what is the breakdown of all the damage like so far?

FEMA says they will not be providing assistance to the state's storm victims. But, if you talk to anyone affected by the March 15th storms and they'll tell you it's been total devastation. What is devastating people even more is FEMA saying no help is coming to them. Despite that, there is still some hope.

Sabrina Bagwell's home is uninsured. A mistake she's about to change and of course, work through the pain.

"We're going to move back in here (her house). It's going to be hard. Just do a little bit at a time," says Sabrina Bagwell.

There's just not enough damage to uninsured and under-insured homes and businesses in South Carolina.

In Aiken County, 25 homes and private businesses were destroyed, 15 with major damage and 21 with minor damage.

In Allendale County, 11 homes and private businesses destroyed, 6 with major damage and 70 with minor damage.

In all, $43 million for the entire state, with about $2.3 million in damages to uninsured and under-insured homes and businesses.

"It's hard, it really is because everyone in this neighborhood's got damage, really bad," says Sabrina.

Some of that damage seen in Bath, as the top of the Bath Water Tower is now ripped off. The top sits in a mangled mess of steel lying on the ground. The cost to fix the tower is $41,500. The good news is Bath is now tied into Valley Public Service Water. So if the storms like March 15th ever happen again, they can get water into your house immediately.

News 12 asking, "What's it been like for the community here?"

Sabrina answering, "Terrible."

Terrible damage and no help from FEMA. But, there is still hope. South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford sending a letter to the US Small Business Administration, asking to allow storm victims from Aiken and Allendale Counties to apply for low interest loans. If it works, Edgefield County could also get some assistance.

"If they don't, I'll still make it," says Sabrina.


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