Pickens tornado victims recovering, shelter opens doors

Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 5:37 PM EDT
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PICKENS, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Tornado victims, in Pickens, are recovering by coming together as a community.

When FOX Carolina got to the scene Friday afternoon, there were crews fixing power lines, picking trees up from atop cars, and cleaning away limbs. Towing trucks, the SCDOT, and electricians were on the ground.

There has been a community effort overall. Several residents have stepped in to help others.

In the area surrounding Crystal Lane, we noticed a lot of cleaning efforts. Elaine Edwards and her husband were home when storms hit earlier this week. She says they heard what sounded like a freight train and a big bang but didn’t know what happened. When they went outside and noticed a part of their chimney and antenna were knocked over. Elaine says it weighs at least 50 pounds. And there were trees down all over their yard. Her husband spent the day using his chainsaw. She says her daughter came over to help them clean up the mess.

“We had shingles from everywhere. And we don’t even have shingles on our house. None of the neighbors around here do,” Elaine said, “So, we picked up shingles... we picked up tree limbs—you wouldn’t even believe how large they were in the yard—that didn’t even come off of our trees.”

Pickens County Shelter of Hope put out a post on Facebook letting people know they could come inside for a hot meal, a shower, or power.

They have sandwiches, snacks, drinks, and emergency beds ready to go. No one has reached out for help yet.

Owner Tracy Gantt says he wants people to know they’re here.

“It ain’t just about the homeless. It’s about—somebody is out of electricity. They can come up here and charge their phone, or if they want some warm food, they can come in here,” said Gantt.

The shelter is located on City View Circle, in Pickens. You can call or reach out to them on Facebook.

The shelter is also accepting donations.