On February 6, 2020, Cynthia Hammitt went to work in Greenville while her husband, Earl Nolan, stayed at home with their son, Tommy. They live at the Ark Wright Trailer Park and around 9 a.m. the power went out. Shortly after, their trailer started rocking back and forth violently and Earl knew they had to leave fast. They drove to the nearby Dollar General to wait out the storm.
“I’ve been through bad storms before but that was the worst I’ve ever seen,” said Nolan. “We were two miles away from where the tornado touched down, but it felt like we were in the middle of it”.
The Red Cross of South Carolina opened a shelter in Spartanburg after those storms to help house the families impacted. The Upstate was hit with heavy rains, high winds, and severe flooding.
Earl shared stories about how he watched a driver decide to drive through water and watched helplessly as the truck floated away.
The family heard about the Red Cross shelter at Covenant Baptist Church on the radio and came to stay there for safety and to help comfort their son. They also learned about the Red Cross Emergency App at the shelter and downloaded it on their phone to be better prepared in the future.
“Take weather warnings seriously and turn around, don’t drown,” said Nolan.