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Evacuees Can't Escape Hurricane Matthew

October 8, 2016 - Posted in Palmetto Scene by Kaitlyn Park
tree limbs on cars in Rosewood, Columbia

Amy Shumaker

Even evacuees of Hurricane Matthew can not escape the relentless storm here in the Midlands. Hilton Head resident, Sherri Shumaker, left the island only to wake up to find a tree limb hanging on a power line just above her car in downtown Columbia. Should the line break her car could be severely damaged.​

“My husband is a state trooper. So, I knew if I had to leave he wasn’t going to be able to go with me." Shumaker says. "I have three cats to wrangle, so it was a lot going on.”

As an employee in the tourism industry, Sherri knew when it was time to leave, but was concerned for what would happen to her hometown.

“We were just feeling really anxious.” Shumaker reflects. “Hilton Head Island is beautiful with the big oak trees and the Spanish moss. I work in the tourism business and I was really worried about what was going to happen to our island and how it was going to impact that.”

Sherri's husband, the state trooper who had to stay behind, has been experiencing similar Hurricane Matthew exasperation.

“The area where he got evacuated to in Ridgeland, they lost power last night. Water came up to the doorway of his patrol car. He at one point didn’t think he was going to have a patrol car to use today. So it’s kind of one thing after another." shares Shumaker.

Sherri and her family have contacted SCE&G, who they hope will be able to remove the tree soon. While Sherri received some positive information, she continues to worry about conditions in Hilton Head.

“I did get news that my house was okay." Sherri adds. "I’m just super, super sad and heartbroken for my island, because big trees that are hundreds of years old are down all over the island and it will never look the same.”

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