The purpose of this fundraiser is a gift to Blake for his birthday! During Hurricane Florence, Blake lost his car, all his belongings in it, needed a new phone, and lost his computer too. We are looking to help him out a wee bit, as a birthday gift so he can get what he lost back. Story is below.
Hurricane Florence left many people in difficult situations. Blake came to visit me in Durham, NC, early in the midst of Florence, when Charleston, SC was its target. However, Florence slid down south then up north and caused a lot of flooding in the Carolinas.
Blake left Durham, Sunday, Sept 16th, in the late afternoon, before all the flood warnings went out. We had both been looking at the weather and the warnings and he decided to take state highways far west of the flooding on his way back home. Blake never made it to South Carolina because of the flash flooding.
His phone could not keep up with the road closures, and he only received one flood warning in a single county. He tried to find a route to anywhere that was a safe place, but kept having to turn around. He got trapped and the road collapsed underneath him and the car plunged into floodwater.
Luckily, his car bobbed up and down which gave him enough time when his car caught onto a tree to crawl out of his window, onto the roof of his car, and climb into the tree. Soon, he watched his car drift away and sink until it was completely submerged. His phone had a lot of water damage and he was calling 911 trying to get a hold of someone but didn’t know if anyone could hear him on the other end. About an hour later, he was lucky that rescuers were already out doing evacuations because they found him stranded in a tree in the pouring rain. The firemen were trying to get him safely across the now small raging river but neither side could hear one another. They were able to pull Blake out, and eventually, around 10:55pm, Blake was on the other side of the river and had let me know with a text that he was safe, with firemen, and would contact me later once he got to a shelter through text.
Blake is safe and his only physical injuries are poison ivy from the tree on his arms, back, legs, and ass. His phone was damaged badly and couldn’t make any calls on it but had written down my number and Sean’s in case it went capoot. The shelter that Blake stayed at had limited water because there was water contamination, no electricity, and he spent the night there.
Sean and I worked on figuring out a way to get Blake back whether it was me getting him to Durham or Sean bringing him back to Charleston. I contacted Hannah, for support and to be on standby for anything else that could be done. I had called Lyndie (Blake’s sister), and let her know what was going on to help.
I had Blake’s friends and family to help get Blake back home safely and this is to help him get back some material things that he had lost. Thank you Sean for getting Blake back the next day through a wacky route that took 5-6 hours (a drive that is usually 2 hours), and bringing him back home safely. Thank you Lyndi and Hannah for emotional support because you were the first people I called including Dan, Bri, and Ai Wei.
Happy Early Birthday Blake! I love you and I hope this helps some!
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- Tiffany Bolick
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