Looking back on Matthew: Recovery continues in Pooler

Updated: Oct. 6, 2017 at 7:37 PM EDT
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POOLER, GA (WTOC) - Residents in Pooler experienced flooding like they've never seen before as a result of Hurricane Matthew.

If you were new to the area, you would have no idea that the water was up to the mailboxes in some places on Tappen Zee Drive.

"Every time it rains, every time it's a heavy downpour, I can't breathe. I have panic attacks," said resident, Pam Poundstone.

Poundstone and her husband had just moved into their home two months before Matthew hit.

"I lost my wedding video, my parents' 40th wedding video...there's things you don't realize that got thrown away," she said.

The water rose so high on Tappen Zee during the hurricane that several residents, including Pam Poundstone, had to be rescued by canoe. Flooded roads led to furniture and personal possessions on the streets.

Neighbors living on the road are reflecting back to last year.

"It's been frightening. Still, you still think about it, like when Irma came in, I knew we were going to be a tropical storm, but I had panic attacks," Poundstone said.

"It was a crazy moment, devastating moment as Hurricane Matthew came through. Flooding everywhere was at least up to the mailboxes," said Ericson Howard.

"We had 10 inches in our house but we had more outside," Poundstone said.

The water rose so high that several residents, including Poundstone, had to be rescued by canoe.

"I'm floating up there to my husband and my son and my dogs," said Poundstone.

The residents ran into two problems. First, they lived in an area that wasn't designated as a flood zone.

"I don't think people had flood insurance. This was a non-flood zone," Howard said.

Insurance companies said there wasn't anything they could do for their flooded homes and lost possessions.

"Do you have flood insurance now," we asked? "We do now."

The other problem was insufficient drainage for a canal that runs behind Tappen Zee Drive.

"Our situation was due to the canal and it's still not been fixed," Poundstone said.

"Three pipes, 36 inches in diameter going underneath there," said Arnold Poundstone. "Just wasn't adequate enough to flow."

Flash forward to now. The families are still piecing their lives together on much drier land.

"Are we normal? I would say 50-60 percent. You know, we still laugh and joke around. We've become better with all of us checking on each other," Poundstone said.

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