McClellanville returns favor to town that helped them after Hugo

McClellanville after Hurricane Hugo in September 1989 (Joe O'Neill/WCIV)

By Sonya

MCCLELLANVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- One local town has special ties to a community in the Northeast hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.

When Hurricane Hugo devastated the town of McClellanville, people in Toms River, New Jersey, lended a helping hand. It's something the people of McClellanville have never forgotten and now it's their chance to return the favor.

"Since we have seen on television the terrible devastation up around Ocean County, NJ, our hearts really go out to that part of the country and all the people there, so we want to do what we can to help," said Mary Duke, McClellanville town administrator.

The desire to help those affected by the storm seems to be contagious around this waterfront town.{} After all, they remember what it's like to be on the receiving end.

"They just came down with I think it was 23 truck loads of everything from baby formula to clothes, ice, water, food, fire trucks even," said Rutledge Leland, mayor of McClellanville.

"They basically brought down what looked like half a town and it was just an overwhelming response from a community up there," he said.

Now, the town of McClellanville wants to return to the favor and help Toms River, the town that helped them so much after Hugo.

"It was wonderfully supportive not only of course it was wonderful to get the water, food, the things that we needed, but it was such a boost to morale to know that many people care about what has happened and want to help.{} That just helps your spirits tremendously," said Duke.

The town of McClellanville is currently in the process of setting up a fund for Toms River.

"The most important thing I remember is always cash needs. We are going to start out there and see how things go from there," said Leland.

This small town of 500 hopes to repay what it can to a much larger community of 100,000, with every little bit that it can.

Town Council will be discussing the details of the relief effort Monday night at their monthly meeting. The council will decide if they will collect supplies too, or if it will simply be monetary donations.

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