Neighbors count their blessings after tornado touches down in Seneca


SENECA, S.C. (WSPA) – People in Seneca are still picking up the pieces after Monday morning’s storm.

7 News spoke with those impacted by the tornado about what comes next.

“I don’t think anybody was thinking about the Coronavirus yesterday,” Janice Holbrooks said. “Not in this area anyway, because our minds were preoccupied with this.”

Janice Holbrooks is one of many people who are now cleaning up their yards and homes after a tornado left its mark in Seneca.

When the tornado came through, Holbrooks said she had no idea what it had in store for her home.

“I got my little dog and we went down to the basement and just stay hunkered down there,” she said.

It wasn’t until daylight Monday that Holbrooks realized what had happened to the house she’s lived in for 50 years.

But Holbrooks said the cleaning up process has been relatively easy, thanks to her family, neighbors, and total strangers who stopped by to check on her.

“People have just been so gracious,” she said.

Holbrooks told 7 News she recently remodeled her home and couldn’t believe that nothing–besides her garage–was touched.

“Everything in my house is intact,” Holbrooks said. “My car is in the garage right now. We can’t get it out, but it’s not hurt. It doesn’t even have a scratch on it.”

Others who live down the road from Holbrooks weren’t so lucky.

15-year-old Caleb Sargent just got himself a car, and was really looking forward to driving it, but the tornado had different plans.

“Now, it’s just kind of smashed,” Sargent said.

Both Sargent and Holbrooks agreed that the most important thing is that they’re still alive.

“If the tree had fallen any other way, it would’ve either destroyed my parents’ cars, destroyed my room, or landed on a power line and electrocuted us when we went outside because it was raining,” Sargent said.

“Thank you, Jesus, for taking care of me; because it could’ve been so much worse had the Lord not had his hand on me,” Holbrooks said.

The City of Seneca has set up a fund for tornado victims at Oconee Federal Bank in Seneca. If you’d like to donate, checks should be made out to “Seneca Tornado Relief Fund.”

You can also drop off donations at Seneca City Hall or mail them to P.O. Box 4773, Seneca, SC 29679.

If you’ve been impacted by the storm and you’re looking for assistance, you can call (864) 364-5428 or (864) 364-5436.

You can also call those numbers if you’d like to volunteer to help. Phones will be manned every day between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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