Special Reports


Bluffton residents could be on the hook for a $337K police overtime bill. Here’s why

When Hurricane Matthew pounded the shores of South Carolina last year, the Town of Bluffton saw the least amount of estimated structural damage of any incorporated area in Beaufort County. Yet Bluffton stayed under emergency conditions for the longest amount of time, causing its police department to accrue a disproportionately high overtime bill compared to other police agencies in the county, including the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, which oversees emergency operations for the entire county, an investigation by The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette found.


Close calls and regrets: Those who didn't evacuate for Matthew tell us about their night

When Hurricane Matthew passed just 5 miles off the coast of Hilton Head Island in the early hours of Oct. 8, an untold number of Beaufort County residents — those who ignored Gov. Nikki Haley’s order to evacuate days earlier— experienced the storm from inside their homes, from nearby shelters, from their boats, from their cars and, in at least one case, from under the overhang of a small-town gas station.

By the numbers: Opioid overdoses on the rise in Beaufort County

Beaufort County has already had more than twice as many fatal drug-related overdoses than last year. Here are the statistics you need to know.
Ashley Jean Reese areese@islandpacket.com