Final Residents Wait to Return Home

By: Jill McNeal
By: Jill McNeal

It’s been two weeks since some in Graniteville have seen their homes following the deadly chemical spill, and there’s no word on when they’ll get to go back.

The roadblocks around the immediate crash site are still up, and the nighttime curfew is still in effect. 12 of 75 homes in this area were inspected before 6 p.m., and those people were allowed back. But there are still dozens of families hoping Thursday will be their homecoming.

“When we left we had nothing, the only thing we had was clothes on our back when we left home. So we’ve had to go buy everything,” said Josie Widener.

The Wideners live just 60 yards from the site of the wreck. They didn’t suffer any medical problems, but haven’t been home in nearly two weeks. Luckily, they had relatives nearby with an extra bedroom.

“It’s been really rough, we want to go home so bad and get back to normal living,” Widener said.

They will meet inspectors at their home on Thursday but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll get to stay.

“Until they finish everything, even if our house is safe we won’t be able to stay until the railroad finishes,” Widener said.

When they do walk through their front door that first time, they can’t be sure what they’ll find.

“I’m kind of worried a little bit because there’s no heat in the house, and I’m afraid we might find broken pipes, it’s worrying me that part,” Widener said.

We’re told all of the home inspections scheduled for Thursday will be done by 6 p.m. That’s when all the roads will re-open and the curfew will be lifted as well.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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