Hundreds wait in long lines for free sandbags

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – It’s not only water and gas that are in high demand in advance of Hurricane Irma, some areas in the Lowcountry are running low on sandbags, a critical storm supply.

As a result, local leaders in Mount Pleasant handed out 40-tons of sand throughout the day, ensuring residents and businesses are prepared for the heavy rain in the forecast.

Starting the free hand-out before the sun came up, officials gave each car 10-bags at a time until the extra batch of sand brought in for the storm ran out. Some residents waited for hours to get the hand-out at the Public Services facility.

“Everyone that’s coming in seems to have a positive attitude. They understand that we’re doing the best that we can do to keep them protected,” said Dean Blackwell, a foreman with the Mount Pleasant Public Services Infrastructure Division. “They are going to do what they can to make sure that they (and their families) are safe.”

By midday, hundreds had come through or waited in a line that snaked along Sweetgrass Basket Parkway. The hope– getting a trunk full of the free sandbags could be used to ward off any flooding brought on by Irma.

For Karen Bloomberg, it’s not her first Hurricane in South Carolina; she lived in the area during the devastation of Hugo and Matthew in previous years. She was so thankful for those working hard to put the sandbags together, that she quickly returned after getting her share, along with her sons, because they wanted to give back. The family purchased pizza for the crews on site.

“They are relieving our anxiety, so the least we could do bring them lunch,” said Bloomberg.

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