Holly Hill flooding

A cautionary “water on road” sign on Bennett Circle in Holly Hill, which was among the locales hit hardest by flooding.

BOWMAN -- Nyshambi Vega was sleeping in her first-floor apartment when emergency personnel woke her around 7 a.m. Sunday.

Flood waters had reached the doorstep of her Crib Street apartment, threatening to flood her home and endangering her three very young children.

She and her children were told to pack essential belongings and then led by canoe to higher ground.

"I was very scared," Vega said. "I had to walk in that water. It was so cold."

"Last night we were saying it was not getting any higher," Vega said. "But when we woke up this morning and everybody was like, ‘The fire department is coming,’ that is when I knew it was serious."

Vega said her children, ages 5 months, 1 and 2, were frightened.

"They have never been on a canoe before," she said.

Vega joined about 80 others who were evacuated from the apartment building in Holly Hill and taken to Bethune-Bowman High School in Bowman.

Apartment resident Virginia Rogers said the water was nearly up to her waist. In some places, it was 4 feet deep.

"We just packed what we could," Rogers said. "What we have on is what we have."

Rogers said she has been in the apartments for about eight years and never had any such incident.

"It was scary," she said. "This was the first time anything like this ever happened."

Betty Spellman, who suffers from various health issues, said the evacuation was sudden. Spellman ended up picking up all her medicines and heading out.

The water “kept on rising and rising," she said. "It was time to go."

By mid-Sunday afternoon, 14 people were still at the shelter and were expecting to spend the night.

In the interim, Vega is wondering what tomorrow will bring.

"I have no idea," she said.

Contact the writer: gzaleski@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.

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Business Reporter

Gene Zaleski is a reporter/staff writer with The Times and Democrat.

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