One year later: Every time a storm threatens the area, she’s afraid she’ll have to relive the same nightmare

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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Melissa Krupa left her home along with everything she owns after Hurricane Matthew with no way of knowing what she’ll have left upon returning.

“Devastating,” said Krupa, as she tries to find words that describe the situation she was in. “In shock. Disbelief,” she said.

Krupa lives just off the Intracoastal Waterway on White Pine Drive in the Socastee area. It took nearly a week after Hurricane Matthew for the water to rise up to her doorstep, according to Krupa.

“That’s when I said, ‘OK, I have to go,’” she said.

She took her dogs, but didn’t stray too far. She stayed at a friends house for a period of time, bouncing from hotel to hotel. One man even opened up his camper to her until she could return home.

“You don’t know what to expect. You don’t understand it. None of it – until you’re in that moment and deal with it,” said Krupa.

But with around two weeks already having gone by, Krupa didn’t want to waste any more time. “I started breaking down walls, trying to get it all out of here. Trying to get everything out because the longer it sits, the mold is growing,” she said.

What made matters worse for Krupa is that she worked so hard to renovate her home after she bought it four years ago, just to watch it all get swept away.

“How do you walk away from something you worked so hard to get?” said Krupa.

She worked to put $25,000 into her home in renovations and new appliances, just to come home and find it all ruined.

“It was all brand new to me, and I had just worked so hard to do that, and it all just got taken away,” she said.

Regardless, Krupa said she knows her outcome is one that some aren’t so lucky to have and she’s proud she’s standing on her own two feet.

“I have to laugh. I have to have fun. I have to realize that this is all temporary. This is all material stuff. I’m alive. My animals are alive,” she said.

Although she’s finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, she still said there is so much work to be done. With rooms unfinished, she said she will continue to work until it’s complete.

Unfortunately, Krupa said she will most likely sell her house when it becomes fully renovated.

Now, her biggest worry is every time she hears another storm is coming – she’s worried she’ll have to relive that same nightmare again.

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