Neighbors are turning into heroes as South Carolina battles one of the the biggest floods in its history.
From a father and son joining professional rescuers, to a seven-year-old volunteering at a Red Cross shelter, to National Guardsmen wading through chest deep water to save pets, people are coming together to help one another.
In the photo above, North Charleston firefighters are shown rescuing a child from floodwaters–a scene repeated hundreds of times on Sunday alone. When emergency crews were overwhelmed, civilians stepped in to support them.
From Georgia, Joey Patsourakos and his son Dalton hauled their fishing boat to a flooded Columbia neighborhood after hearing that a pregnant friend was trapped in her house by eight-foot-high waters. When they arrived and found she’d been already rescued, they helped others in trouble.
“We were coming down the road and got waved down by an ambulance,” Patsourakos told WAGT News.
They then helped the paramedics rescue a paraplegic woman with their boat and went on from there –pulling out people stranded in their homes.
Neighbors in other states have rushed help into South Carolina, too. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency sent 83 people and 20 boats, who on Sunday began rescuing people.
The North Carolina National Guard has sent six helicopters and 70 Guardsmen to their southern neighbor.
“I like being able to help the people of South Carolina because I know they need my help,” Army National Guard Specialist Joshua Monk said.
In North Charleston, Guardsmen helped rescue people and pets from a neighborhood where water rose so fast, residents had no time to evacuate. The WAIT News video below shows people in Guard trucks, with soldiers lifting dogs to their waiting families.
In Charleston, most churches canceled services Sunday, but North Charleston United Methodist Church opened its doors as a Red Cross Shelter.
Their youngest volunteer was seven-year-old Karlie Freeman. Her family had been evacuated from the flood, but she insisted on helping others, setting up beds in the shelter and delivering water to people.
“From the time we got here until now she’s been helping,” her mother Angle Huitt told WJCL News. “She’s really special.”
(WATCH the WAIT News video) — Photos: City of North Charleston, Twitter; U.S. National Guard