Organizations across Aiken County prepping to help families due to hurricane

Monday, September 2, 2019
News 12 at 6 o'clock/NBC at 7

BEECH ISLAND, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A local church in Beech Island is stepping up tonight to help with families seeking refuge from the storm.

Volunteers at Heights Church set up church classrooms with air mattresses for evacuees. Organizations across Aiken County are prepping to help families leaving the coast.

Box by box, volunteer by volunteer, even strangers are showing up to help, the Aiken Red Cross is stocking up to help thousands leaving the coast.

"We are getting all the supplies that we need to feed people. Because we do feed people, we provide snacks, water. We also provide cots and blankets and things like that," said Marcia Bergtholdt, a volunteer at Aiken Red Cross

A truck is headed to Bamberg and Orangeburg County shelters.

Aiken County Emergency Officials are also offering resources to those counties.

"Aiken right now is on a hold. We are waiting to see how the traffic is, how the storm moves," said Berhtholdt.

It's a waiting game for the Albrecht Center too, waiting to fill these kennels.

The shelter already picked up 18 dogs from Charleston yesterday and they're using the education center as extra space.

"Our adoption area is now full. Our holding area is now full. We're maxed out," said Barbara Nelson, the CEO of the SPCA Albrecht Center.

This means they need volunteers to clean and walk dogs and more pups may be on the way.

"Because some of the human shelters don't take pets, people are asking us to take their pets too. So, that's gonna be pretty difficult,” said Nelson.

All of this is for people moving inland and out of the path of a major hurricane.

“All the arrangements have been set up ahead of time. So, we're good on that. We just need the go, if the state decides that's what we're gonna do," said Bergtholdt.

In Beech Island, the Heights Church pastor says they've been hosting families over the past few years. He says there's a big need as hotels fill up.

Aiken county EMA is waiting on this slow-moving storm before opening up their own shelters.