On Wednesday, September 19th 2018; Eric Lammons, VP Collections and Christine Van Langen, Manager in Collections along with some friends and family packed up some tents, tables, chairs, lots of food and an industrial BBQ smoker and drove from Jacksonville, Florida to Conway, South Carolina. They plan to feed and support emergency workers, local police and firemen over the next few days as they participate in disaster recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.
Stay tuned for updates chronicling their experiences:
Eric’s Notes: 9/19/18 - 11:00 pm ET
“The area is under a 10:00pm curfew, expecting additional flooding. Here we are with 4 tents, signs, flags, and music playing, hanging out on city property. An officer gets out with two armed National Guardsmen, wanting to know what we were doing. Once I explained why we were there and that we had permission, he softened up. He saw the Ditech sign and said we service his mortgage.
He said he was thankful for our efforts, a positive impact on a customer and a first responder and we are just getting started.”
Eric’s Notes: 9/20/18 - 9:24 am ET
“(There’s a) large parking lot for staging area, full of pumps, generators and heavy equipment. The folks here say they have never seen a flood here like this….The river is supposed to crest on Saturday and may actually reach the area where we are set up.”
Eric's Notes: 9/20/2018 - 2:00 pm ET
"So we have had about 125 folks so far, still have more food. We are hearing more first responders and national guardsmen in the way. NBC was here quite a while, went live from here like 3 times during the noon news. All the people here are very appreciative of ditech's support."
Eric’s Notes: 9/20/18 - 4:02 pm ET
“We are winding down for the day and cleaning up. We had some BBQ meat left over and were able to coordinate with the Horry County EOC to drop it off to feed the National Guard presence here in Conway tonight. It was a very rewarding experience to meet all of these first responders and be able to let them know that their efforts and service to the community is appreciated. The BBQ was a big hit. NC and SC are big on their local BBQ, but we heard from many this was the best BBQ they had ever had. We will start again in the morning by forming 200 hamburgers then cooking them along with 200 hot dogs. We estimate we had about 175+ first responders today and expect a similar turnout tomorrow.”
Eric’s Notes: 9/21/18 - 8:38 am ET
“So the flooding is worsening. There are three rivers that end up in Conway, carrying all of the rain water out of NC. They may have to start flying helicopters in and out of the lot where we are set up before we leave today. Just depends on if the current sandbag parameter they have established is breached. Concern appears to be increasing. We are five blocks from where the river is supposed to be. Currently, we are two blocks from the river and the riverfront businesses are flooded. By Saturday, they believe water will be up to this spot, 5 city blocks from the river! Could be a windy day.”
Eric’s Notes: 9/21/18 - 10:51 am ET
“Huge outpouring of support from the community. With running on multiple local news stations, the word is out that we are here and why. Many citizens have stopped by, police driving by giving the thumbs up, folks dropping off cases of what’re and other supplies. We told them we would get them to the appropriate people. This is a great community of people and we are all very happy Ditech was able to assist.”
Eric’s Notes: 9/21/18 - 1:51 pm ET
"We are serving food until about 2:00 or 2:30. They need the lot we are on to continue evacuation and stage equipment, so we hope to be packed up and head out of town by 3:30. We are about 6 hours north of Jacksonville under normal traffics conditions. Traffic is a concern, there is now only one way in and out of Conway and a police officer just advised me they expect the county to be cut off with all roads closed by the end of the weekend. They expect the flooding problems to get much worse.
It’s been another good day, we have had about 150 first responders so far today. This is a awesome community with salt of the earth folks. It has been a really rewarding experience to help these people out. They certainly have been appreciative.
I will close by saying that Christine, Matt, and Neil were a terrific crew. They worked tirelessly, interacted with all the guests we had. I appreciate their hard work and this could not have been done without them.
Also, just a big kudos to Ditech. I really appreciate Ditech supporting Christine and Matt, Neil and me coming and taking part in this effort. We will take away a lot of pride for the work done here, and many wonderful memories and new friendships."