Johns Island clean-up could take weeks, officials say

VIDEO: Johns Island clean-up could take weeks, officials say

JOHNS ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Since Friday, more than one hundred Charleston County crew members have worked to clear debris on Johns Island.

Many residents there are still faced with the aftermath of an EF-2 tornado that touched down late last week, destroying homes, also leaving several neighborhoods unrecognizable.

Carol McClue, who lives on Old Pond Road, described the area as a "war zone."

"I've never been through anything like this," she said.

McClue called on Red Cross in the hours after the tornado, and has been staying in a West Ashley hotel due to water damage in her Johns Island home.

"Thank God for life," she said.  "You can always get the material things. I just thank God for our life."

Monday, many residents worked to clear debris on their own.  County officials said total cleanup in the area could take as long as six weeks, and asked homeowners to place debris they needed picked up on the side of the road.

Meanwhile, Harold Johnson, whose daughter's home saw considerable damage to the roof, and master bedroom, stood wondering when even more help would come.

Johnson described the hours after the tornado hit, when he drove by her home, unaware he passed it, then covered by fallen trees.

"I thought the trailer was gone," he said.

Johnson's daughter called FEMA for further assistance, but learned the agency could not get involved without a declared "state of emergency."

An email to Governor Nikki Haley's office seeking information on a damage assessment has not yet been returned.

"I think this is about the worst that I've seen," Johnson said.

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