Hard-working teen is lifeline for flooded South Carolina community

The only way to get in or out of the South Carolina community of Big Dam is by boat after flooding has turned it into a 5,000-acre island that hundreds residents have been stuck on since last Monday night.

The only bridge is buried under water and there is no sign of the water receding.

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Hunter Birt, 15, has become a lifeline for his community, using his family boat to shuttle people to and from the "island" for the last seven days for no charge.

He even ferried people to church on roads that have become rivers.

"O my God, Hunter -- Hunter is our guardian angel. Look at it, and him being David of the Bible and this water being Goliath," area resident Tiwanda Smalls said.

Jennifer Cox is one of the hundreds of people stuck on this island.

Her 9-year-old daughter Jenna is blind and has cerebral palsy. Cox was running out of Jenna's main food source.

"Crew came over yesterday and brought us PediaSure for the next two-to-three weeks, if we need, which I hope we won't," Cox said. "And Hunter Birt hauled it across the water for them."

Over the weekend, Dr. Lizina Green took a boat to make house calls here, carrying donated medication and medical equipment. Volunteers organized a relief flotilla, hauling food, diapers, and nearly 9,000 bottles of water donated by charities.

Gratitude is what's fueling an exhausted Robert Stamper, assistant fire chief in the nearby town of Andrews. "By boat, by humvee, by helicopter, whatever it takes, we'll get to them," he said.

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The water has dropped, three to five feet in some places, but it is still dangerously high.

Three miles east, back in Big Dam, Hunter Birt makes another run.

"I'm extremely proud of my son. He wanted to do it. He said he wanted to help the community. Last night, at 10:30 p.m. he got out of his bed and carried a family across," his mother, Christina, said.

As the sun sets over Big Dam, Birt is still at work.