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Lowcountry Climate Stories

Tamara, Johns Island

“I was born and raised on John’s Island. My family, fortunately, lives on elevated land so their homes stay dry. But we’re surrounded by water on all sides and everytime a big rain comes, the road gets flooded. If there’s a storm coming we have to decide if we’re going to leave before the road washes out or if we’ll take our chances knowing that it might take a really long time for help to get here if we need it. For as long as I can remember the land around my family’s homes has been farmed. First it was local farmworkers, then migrant workers. Now no one is farming it. There’s too much unpredictability - rain, flooding, hurricanes - people can’t afford to take all of those days off. And crops don’t grow on flooded land. So now there are no more farmers. No more farmland.”

Vincent, North Charleston

“I’ve lived here my whole life. Hugo in ‘89.. a tree fell on my house at 3 in the morning. Scared us, but no one was hurt. Since then, I never leave. When they say a storm’s coming, we all just think, It’s not going to be as bad as Hugo. I’m off today because of all the rain this week. Maybe tomorrow it will be sunny and I can get back to work. It’s hard, but you just gotta learn how to set money aside.”

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