AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – People helping people, is one of the impacts Hurricane Matthew is having on Aiken County.
Across Aiken, people are offering up everything they can to make life a little easier for the evacuees and during this time of uncertainty, it’s the little things that count
Billy Walker says he left the coast, immediately after the Governor issued mandatory evacuations. He says he wanted to protect 6 of his prized possession.
“We evacuated so that the horses would be safe,” Walker said.
On Thursday, pounding the hitch of his trailer, Walker was getting reading to head back toward Charleston to care for his other farm animals. Walker and his family are just some of the evacuees staying on Bruce Field, in Aiken.
“They’ve been real nice here,” Walker told WJBF NewsChannel 6. “So we have been really fortunate and glad to be able to get to Aiken. It’s not too far away, but yet far enough.”
Down the road from the make-shift shelter, Aiken County homeowner Cindy Paulson has opened her doors to evacuees and their animals.
“What enticed you to open up your home?” Asked WJBF NewsChannel 6’s Stefany Bornman.
“We’re animal people and people-people,” Paulson said. “When you see anybody that needs help, I think… you just naturally want to reach out.”
Paulson says no one has taken her up on the offer, but it still stands. She says since she advertised the spare room in her home on Facebook the post took off.
“Amazingly enough, a lot of people, on the post that I put out, are saying that we have houses too. We have houses, we have farms, and we have guest houses.” Paulson said.
The Aiken resident says she worries that people seeking shelter won’t have a place to keep their pets and will leave them behind. Evacuees riding into town with their ponies say they’ve been welcomed with open arms.
“The good thing about this whole community between Aiken, Charleston, Camden, we’re like one big horse family.” Nicole Wood, a Charleston resident, said.
If you need information about where you can shelter your animal, please call 211.
Several Aiken Facebook groups are also full of local homeowners offering people a place to stay for free.