You can say many things about Southerners, but if this country has learned one thing about them recently, it’s that they stick together.
Just a short while ago it seemed that the state was about to tear itself apart over the controversy surrounding the Confederate Battle Flag being taken down following the tragic shooting in Charleston. Many people who live in the traditionally conservative Upstate expressed outrage at the flag’s removal.
Now, with the Midlands and especially Columbia itself affected by floods via Hurricane Joaquin, some people might have expected that animosity to have spilled over along with a “Well, you’re on your own” mentality.
The outpouring of flood relief from the northern part of the state has been nothing short of amazing.
Within hours of realizing that people, their homes and their possessions were in danger of being washed away, churches, fire departments, city halls and schools were busy at work organizing relief operations.
A WordPress blogger in Columbia wrote that the problem they were facing wasn’t a shortage of water and clean clothes, but that once a need was expressed, it was met so immediately and fully that they were having difficulties finding places to store such an outpouring of instant generosity.
“The problem in SC is that our needs are changing by the minute because as soon as one is identified, it is met beyond measure. The problem in SC is that our generosity outweighs the greatest natural disaster our state has seen in quite a long time … perhaps ever.”
And that’s awesome.
In the days following the flooding, social media was filled with posts offering to help. Ryan Snipes, who lives in Chapin, posted on Facebook “Does anyone need any help? Water? Shower? Food? I’ve got a truck and free hands.” His phone number was included. Snipes’ offer for aid was just one of countless that were all over the social media website.
This has been a tough year for South Carolina and in many ways the people who live in this fine state have shown themselves to be a true family. They may squabble and disagree with one another, but ultimately, when things go bad, they’re there for one another.
The flood waters may be receding, but the rebuilding process has just begun. Displaced families are returning to find their homes destroyed. Small business owners who have lost their livelihoods are now faced with the prospect of starting over. Roads, bridges and dams need to be repaired or replaced.
But if the past couple weeks are any indicator, the help will continue to roll in — because Southerners take care of their own.