SOCASTEE, S.C. (WBTW) — Five years ago on Thursday, Hurricane Florence swept across the Grand Strand.
One of its biggest impacts was river flooding.
In 2018, News13 visited Rosewood Estates in Socastee after the storm passed. News13 went back there on Thursday, speaking with neighbors about what it’s been like since then.
Many residents said they haven’t seen the kind of flooding they saw during Florence.
“It’s almost like you can’t explain it unless you’ve lived through it,” Frank Hanson said.
According to the National Weather Service, the Waccamaw River flooded at just more than 21 feet, breaking Hurricane Matthew’s record of 18 feet.
Horry County saw close to $50 million in residential damage and nearly 1,000 homes and businesses by the river were flooded.
Hanson, who has lived in the Rosewood community for 15 years, said he and his family decided to put their house on stilts after Florence.
He said that although their house is a few blocks from the river, they had nearly four feet of water in their yard.
“You walk up and see your house is literally underwater,” Hanson said. “I think I took a canoe here and I was rowing over the top of the mailboxes.”
Hanson recalled many people who lived closer to the river and were more vulnerable, helping neighbors prepare for the worst.
“You knew at one point sandbags wasn’t going to stop that water at your house,” he said. “What’d you do? You came to a neighbor’s house and started bagging their house up. So, you know, the community grew tighter.”
Hanson said there was a sense of relief when he and his family could finally move back in after rebuilding their house on stilts, but it didn’t last long.
“I remember, I was standing on the back porch just overlooking everybody’s house, and I’m thinking ‘this is pretty awesome,'” he said. “And then it dawned on me, now, I have to watch everybody else flood. And all those memories started to come back.”
He said there were a lot of emotions amongst neighbors because of it being peak hurricane season recently.
“I think during hurricane season, there’s a lot of people that remain nervous until November,” Hanson said.
Hanson said he’s now working to have his home bought out because he and his family cannot continue to deal with the struggles of flooding outside their home.
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Adrianna Lawrence is a multimedia journalist at News13. Adrianna is originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, and joined the News13 team in June 2023 after graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University in May 2023. Keep up with Adrianna on Instagram, Facebook, and X, formerly Twitter. You can also read more of her work, here.