Grand Strand

Town of Nichols prepares for flooding repeat

NICHOLS, SC (WBTW) - In the town of Nichols, state officials have told local leaders and residents catastrophic flooding is less than 24 hours away.


Just two years ago, Hurricane Matthew left the entire town in Marion County under water, and now the Town of Nichols is preparing for another bout of flooding.


The South Carolina National Guard is staged in Nichols. They are there to support local officials in prepping for what could be a repeat, or worse, from two years ago. Tropical Storm Florence is bringing fears of a repeat flooding event to this tiny town.


“At this point in time we are knocking on doors telling people please evacuate the threat is imminent,” says Major Glenn Hamm, SC State Guard.


The threat is catastrophic flooding, leaders in Nichols and the state guard say the water will roll in soon.


“The info we have received is that there is a potential starting within the next 16-24 hours to be flooding,” reports Major Hamm.


For three straight days, Major Hamm says guardsmen have helped get all but five residents to evacuate. Those who choose to say, refusing to leave their homes and belongings, know the water may be inevitable.


“There is a flood threat that could be greater than Matthew,” warns Major Hamm. 


Torrential rain in North Carolina from Hurricane Matthew two years ago rushed in from the Lumber and Little Pee Dee Rivers and submerged the entire town. During that time, 150 people had to be rescued.


Now facing 30 inches of rain from Florence’s North Carolina landfall, search and rescue teams are in Nichols for what’s coming in the next day. 


“While we may be saying there’s only five people in town, well there may be other people taking care of family, others passing thru…” says Paul Fraser, Gulf States Dive and Rescue. “At this point, that’s really in God’s hands.” 


Officials say the biggest fear at this point is any Nichols residents who evacuated days before Florence made landfall may think it’s safe to come home and have not heard of this new threat. 


Making matters worse, the city manager says the town is still recovering from Matthew with rebuilding infrastructure and many residents still dealing with mold. 


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