Hurricane Irma caused significant damage to Edisto Beach, however, locals, visitors and officials have already begun to get the beach back to normal and the town of Edisto Beach is once again open to the public.
While initial projections of Irma showed that it could possibly hit Edisto directly, what ended up being the biggest problem was the storm surge.
As of Sept. 14, here are the key things you need to know about Edisto Beach:
- The curfew has been lifted and the town is open
- A boil advisory is in effect until further notice
- Stay out of the water due to rip currents and debris
- The first 11 blocks of Palmetto Boulevard are impassable and residents are encouraged to access their property using side streets
- Do not park on Palmetto Boulevard during the clean up stage
- Some restaurants and shops are open including McConkey’s, Ella and Ollie’s, Whaley’s, and the SeaCow
- Gas is available again on the island
- The Bi-Lo is open
While it seems from that list that things have returned to normal, that is far from the case. For instance, the storm stripped the island of power and caused intense flooding. Many roads were and continue to be impassable due to flooding or downed trees.
The storm surge of nearly 10 feet was the third-highest experienced by the beach in the past 80 years. Palmetto Boulevard and numerous side streets were completely under water and significant flooding still exists.
In addition to the storm surge, tornadoes touched down on the island downing several lines and damaging homes and trees.
Sadly, the storm surge caused significant damage to the beach. The sand from beach renourishment project, which helped improve the health of the beach and repair the impact of erosion, was pushed onto Palmetto Boulevard. In addition, all of the sand fencing and recently planted sea oats were destroyed.
Crews are working diligently to clear the sand from the roads and get the beach back in order. Sand fencing will be rebuilt and the dunes and sea oats will return.
Remember to be patient as repairs are made and to adhere to any road closures as these are done for your safety. Edisto will rebuild once again thanks to the help of all of those who love this island.