MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – Communities across the Lowcountry are still working to clean up damage and debris left in the wake of Hurricane Ian. The process, though, is bringing people together to help their fellow neighbors.
The downed trees remaining, not among the hundreds of downed trees already removed by state agencies, are likely left for property owners to take down at their own expense.
“It was scary- we were sitting right there in the kitchen window playing a game because the power had just gone out,” recalled former News 2 anchor Brad Franko, who said the Category 1 storm left a mark on his Mount Pleasant neighborhood and his own backyard.
“I caught it out of the corner of my eye, and it was just this big green blast of leaves and stuff, and I didn’t realize exactly what it was,” said Franko.
That blast of green leaves was his neighbor’s tree uprooted by the strong wind, creating a path of destruction as it fell on his children’s swingset and the family’s sunroom.
But the tree was not the only one to come crashing down in the area.
“We were sitting in the house probably right when it started getting nasty, there was (another) one that fell,” said Franko. “Everybody knew that something had happened because it shook the ground.”
With several large trees down, the roads were wiped out. A neighbor behind Franko’s house wasn’t as lucky; they ended up with a tree falling through their bedroom roof. Franko said what happened next is what makes a community home.
“A lot of people just jumped on it, like the next day you just heard that hum of chainsaws and blowers and people getting their stuff out,” he said. “This just happened on Saturday, and we had an army of friends and neighbors who just hopped over the fence and brought chainsaws.”
While on television during past storms, the former morning anchor said he remembered telling viewers to check their insurance policy before every storm, but now fears he may have overlooked that step.
“When you realize that two percent of your home’s value is the deductible, that’s a tough one to swallow,” said Franko. “I didn’t, and now I am going to see exactly what that’s about but, again fortunate that it wasn’t way worse.”
Mount Pleasant town crews are expected to make their way around neighborhoods this week to clean up debris and tree branches. Most areas are asking you to leave debris in a pile near the end of your driveway.