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Floor relief supplies in Loris, clean-up help in Columbus

Eli Prez, Marc Williams and Cheryl Gause, from left, meet as hurricane relief supplies are unloaded at Bethel Zion Ministries Church. (Jenn Boyd, TLT)



     A case of mistaken identity that could have left a Florida businessman sour has prompted a sweet response with hurricane relief supplies distributed in Loris today and Saturday.

     Meanwhile there’s help available in Columbus County and elsewhere in North Carolina for those who need assistance cleaning up in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence and her flood waters.

Supplies from Florida

     Eli Prez of Orlando pulled into Loris Thursday with an 18-wheeler loaded down with supplies for hurricane flood victims, materials delivered to Bethel Zion Ministries Church for distribution today and tomorrow.

     “I have been blessed knowing I can help the Loris community and surrounding communities,” Prez said. “I look forward to doing more in the future for places who need a helping hand.”

     Prez would likely have not been in Loris had some on social media not confused his business with that owned by Thomas David Korinek, a 40-year-old Pawleys Island man charged Monday with breach of trust with fraudulent intent, accused of illegally selling sand bags he had received for free in advance of flooding brought on by Florence.

     Both Prez and Korinek own similarly named towing businesses, which apparently led to the social media confusions and more than a little bit of criticism for Prez.

     Cheryl Gause of Loris and Marc Williams of Myrtle Beach realized that Prez had no connection to Korinek or the allegations against him, and reached out to defend the honor of Prez.

     Although they had never met, the three became fast friends and decided to work together to provide flood relief supplies to those who need it in the Loris area. Blanton’s Supply provide equipment and manpower to unload the truck.

     Supplies will be given from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today (Friday) and Saturday at the church, located across the street from the former NBSC, now Synovus Bank, in the 3600 block of Main Street in Loris.

Cleanup help

     There’s help available, and plenty of need as property owners clean up from flooding and other damage brought by Hurricane Florence, Columbus County Emergency Services Director Kay Worley says.

     “As they are able, reputable and vetted relief agencies may assist you and your neighbors with cutting fallen trees, roof tarping, and removal of debris, drywall, insulation, flooring, furniture, and appliances,” Worley said in a news release. “All services are free, but service is not guaranteed due to the overwhelming need.”

     To register for this kind of help call 800-451-1954 or 828-222-3975.

     This program is scheduled to end Oct. 12, but Worley said leaders are working to extend that deadline.

     For more on this story see the next Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.