Hurricane Matthew did a number on Edisto Island. But, just as she has in the past, Edisto is already on her way to healing.
When the storm came through on Saturday, it flooded numerous areas, downed several trees, wiped out homes and severely damaged others. Power is still out for the town of Edisto Beach, and it is slowly being restored on the island. The main water line on Edisto Beach broke, which means there is no water being supplied to the houses located in the town.
So, if you’re wondering what this means for you, here are some questions and answers you might find useful.
Can I Go Home?
As of October 11, the town has been working to clear streets to allow residents to have access to their homes. At present, the town is listing the roads and streets that are accessible to residents so that they can check their homes. To visit your home, you must have proof of ownership. No access will be granted to anyone who is not on the approved list of streets and roads.
What About the Water?
While most of the town is without water, the water system and wastewater systems that are working are limited. If you do have water, there is a boil advisory in effect.
What Happened to the Beach?
The beach suffered significant erosion. There is also an excessive amount of debris everywhere. The storm wiped out numerous septic systems as well, so it is highly recommended to stay out of the water until it is deemed safe for swimming.
What Happened to the Roads?
The storm surge caused up to four feet of sand to collect on Palmetto Boulevard. Second row beach homes now look like they are front row homes due to this sand. Crews are working diligently to clear all the roads, but this takes time.
Many areas are still heavily flooded as well. This flooding is waist high in some areas.
Be careful when walking through any flooded area or sand-covered street as there could be harmful debris in the sand or water.
What Happened to the Island?
The island also suffered significant damage from fallen trees and floods. The island is slowly regaining power and is expected to be fully powered faster than the town of the beach. Again, crews have been working since the storm passed to get the power restored.
All of the stores in Hollywood are open, and the EZ Shop on Highway 174 has opened again. Green Boat Discount Liquors and ACE True Value Hardware are open as well. The Old Post Office restaurant is also open with a limited menu.
Hot meals and supplies are being offered at various places, including the Presbyterian Church. Numerous locals have made offers to help others with everything from charging electronics to taking a hot shower to removing debris. If you want to join the Edisto community page, look for “For Sale Wanted or Free, ETC. on Edisto” on Facebook.
How Can I Help?
If you want to make a donation, checks can be made to Hurricane Matthew Relief and sent to 414 Jungle Road, Edisto Beach, SC 29438. The funds will be distributed by the Ministerial Alliance.
You can also visit the GoFundMe page Edisto Island Hurricane Relief Fund to donate online.