Kinex brings Thanksgiving home

Published 12:07 pm Thursday, December 8, 2016

Two homeowners in South Carolina had a special reason to give thanks recently due to the efforts of a team from Kinex Telecom Inc. in Farmville.

According to a company press release, a week before Thanksgiving, a team from Kinex loaded two of the company’s RVs with tools and headed for Nichols, S.C.

An Oct. 10 issue of The State newspaper detailed what followed in Hurricane Matthews’ wake.

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“When residents of Nichols went to bed a day after Hurricane Matthew pummeled South Carolina’s coast, they thought the worst was over. But they awoke on Monday to water rising fast,” The State reported.

“Hurricane Matthew caused some extreme flooding in Nichols, and my stepfather, Jim Garrett, wanted to help,” Lonadier said.

Garrett, Kinex’s owner, traveled to South Carolina with three members of the construction division: Lonadier, who is Kinex’s project manager, and Joey Garcia and Melvin Mitchell.

“Jim located a Presbyterian church in town that was able to point us in the direction of two homeowners,” Lonadier said.

The Kinex team assisted two homeowners whose homes were flooded in Nichols, S.C. Here, Andrew Lonadier removes flooring damaged by flood waters.

The Kinex team assisted two homeowners whose homes were flooded in Nichols, S.C. Here, Andrew Lonadier removes flooring damaged by flood waters.

The State quoted S.C. State Sen. Kent Williams as saying, “Residents of Nichols didn’t have time to get anything or save anything. They just grabbed what they could and got out of there.”
The senator said it would be a long road to recovery.

“We need all of the help we can get down here,” The State quoted the senator as adding. “And we need prayer.”

The Kinex team was an answer to both.

The first home the Kinex team worked on was an older cabin with knotty pine flooring and paneling. All of it had to be removed.

Many homeowners in the town of 400 did not have flood insurance, Lonadier said. Others who did were not covered for their homes’ contents.

The team’s second project was for a homeowner in his 70s.

“This man had received no assistance, and his home still had all of the debris inside,” Lonadier said. “His house was under water for 12 days. When we pried up flooring, water would spurt out — when we opened drawers in the kitchen, water poured out.”

In addition to removing flooring, the team cleared the debris.

“One of his daughters stopped by while we were working,” Lonadier said. “She started to cry when she saw there were people there helping him.”

Helping others in need was the Kinex team’s goal.

“It’s really important to us to give back,” Lonadier said. “We’re all people — no matter the creed, race or religion — and we all need the basic necessities to feel comfortable and be happy.”

Feeling happy is difficult in the town of Nichols where debris still litters the streets.

“You couldn’t help but see how beaten down the people were,” Lonadier said. “We saw many who needed help, but we didn’t see anyone who’d given up.”

Giving a helping hand, Lonadier believed, brought a renewed sense of hope to the two families they were able to help.

“Kinex is still a growing company,” Lonadier said, “but we want to get to a point were we can do more. This is what moves us forward in life — to relate to one another and help.”