Red Cross handing out meals in Lowcountry community hit hard by winter storm

Red Cross handing out meals in Lowcountry community hit hard by winter storm

ST. STEPHEN, SC (WCSC) - Crews are still working to get the power back on in the town of St. Stephen.

A lot of people have been in the dark for nearly a week.

Since Thursday, the Red Cross has already given out more than 1,700 hot meals.

Community members are trying to make the best of a bad situation.

"It's out of our control, so you might as well have a positive attitude and as bad as it is, it could be worse," said Ashley Banks.

Banks is a kindergarten teacher at St. Stephen Elementary and says she never thought she would be sleeping at the school.

Banks said, "It's hard being without power, being away from your home but we're thankful that the school was open as a shelter and we had some place warm to come and lay our head and get a warm meal."

Banks and her father say they've been sleeping at the shelter since it opened Thursday.

"We have a place to lay your head where it's warm, fellowship with others," said Banks.

Volunteers with the American Red Cross say they served 250 hot meals Thursday during lunch.

Banks said, "We had breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Steven Hodge and his sister say they've been trying to spread the word about shelters in the area.

Hodge said, "We started passing out these flyers and we've probably passed out 300 flyers everywhere."

Hodge says he only lost power for four hours but wants to make sure other community members are taken care of.

"Kindness of the heart. People are hungry, they're cold, and they don't have electricity," said Hodge.

Crews with Berkeley Electric Co Op have been working around the clock to restore power and the Banks family says they are glad it's being done safely.

Jerry Banks said, "The most important thing is that you don't hear no accidents. So everybody is working and being able to go home to their families."

Going to a warm house is something the Banks family hopes to do soon.

"My hope is that the light is on before the sun go down today," said Banks.

The shelter at St. Stephen Elementary has been moved to the Russellville Christian Church off highway 35.

The American Red Cross will provide blankets and cots for people to sleep. They will also serve hot meals throughout the day.

Copyright 2014 WCSC. All rights reserved.