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Hurricane Matthew: Dealing with the Damage 

It’s hard to believe that Hurricane Matthew hit Edisto Beach almost three months ago, but not for those still dealing with the damage.

Numerous houses on Edisto Beach are uninhabitable due to damage and some may be unrepairable. The stretch of homes from the 100-700 block on Palmetto Boulevard seem to be the most hard-hit by the storm. Even after the hurricane passed, the damage from the wind, rain and storm surge continued to plague the town. In fact, some areas of the beach were under almost three feet of standing water.

While it’s business-as-usual for much of the island, the lasting impact from the storm is still being felt by many. For instance, the Pavilion is still closed due to damage sustained in the storm, however, it is expected to reopen.

Wyndham Ocean Ridge experienced intense flooding and damage from the storm, but rental units are still available. Ella and Ollie’s restaurant located in the resort is open for business.

The effects of the storm are evident on the beach as the erosion and storm surge removed almost all of the sea oats, sand fencing, beach access signs and benches. It’s a good idea if you’re walking the beach to bring along a bag to help collect trash and other items that shouldn’t be in the sand.

For instance, it’s common to find shingles, siding, broken porcelain and other household items on the beach from the homes that experienced intense damage. Several homes also lost their stairs, making them inaccessible to anyone without a ladder. Any house marked with a red sign is uninhabitable, whereas homes with yellow signs are damaged, but inhabitable by residents. Remember to stay out from underneath damaged homes as they could be unsafe.

One silver lining to the change of the beach is that it has unearthed hundreds of conch shells, sharks teeth and fossils. Remember to be careful while beach combing as there could be sharp objects in the sand.

Several docks on the island were damaged or destroyed by the storm. Trails that make up the Edisto Beach State Park are closed due to damage, but should be cleared soon.

It’s shocking to see what happened to the island, especially considering the storm was rather weak in terms of hurricanes. However, the community came together to help get the island back to normal. In time, all repairs will be made and Edisto will continue on as she always has.

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