Volunteers help clean up midlands home damaged by flood

FOREST ACRES, S.C. (WOLO) — Volunteers are giving a Forest Acres family a fresh start by picking up the pieces left over from the 2015 Flood.

Ever since the heavy rains stopped, Jerry Elia and his family still felt the effects of the flood for years.

“It ended up getting into the kitchen, and the leaking and the roof, and it was just like how could you get this to stop,” Elia said.

As Jerry and his wife Kim got older, it became harder for them to clear up the property on their own.

“When things were overgrowing, I tried to cut it up a little bit, and I don’t know what our long term was. We just kept hanging on,” said Elia.

This week, Elia and his family got some help clearing out their property of excess brush.

As volunteers sliced through wood and piled up debris stick by stick, Elia says his house began to feel like a home again.

“There’s just so many good people around that again, it’s overwhelming. You see them come out, and it means more than anything that they’re here to help,” said Elia.

The St Bernard Project, Americorps, and Leadership South Carolina sends volunteers across the region to clean up homes affected by the floods.

Seeing a family like the Elia’s find hope after the flood inspires them to help out.

“It warms my heart every time to know I had a hand in rebuilding someone’s home. To know that we all get to add to this process is pretty incredible,” said Jess Krauss, a Project Lead with the St. Bernard Project.

Above all, Elia says the cleanup gives his granddaughter Ivy a chance to live in a safe and comfortable home for years to come.

Volunteers with the St. Bernard Project are looking to raise an additional $25,000 to help other homes affected by the floods.

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