With the start of the new year, The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette today will preview some of the biggest local issues expected to impact the lives of residents, workers, business owners and tourists in Beaufort County and surrounding areas. Following is one of 17 issues to watch in 2017:
Hurricane Matthew put a major dent in the Town of Hilton Head Island’s $20.7 million beach-renourishment project that started during the summer.
About 700,000 cubic yards of sand is estimated to have been lost from the island during the Category 2 storm on Oct. 8. Repair costs could be more than $6 million, town officials have estimated.
Since the start of the beach-renourishment project in June, more than 2.5 million cubic yards of sand have been placed along approximately seven miles of shoreline, including some portions damaged by the hurricane, the town said Friday in a release. And more beach renourishment is planned for 2017 as the town continues to work to fix damage from the storm.
About 8,000 feet of beach in Sea Pines’ South Beach section received the worst damage, where homes were exposed after sand-dune systems were flattened, town staff said.
Permits to repair that stretch of beach could come from the state this spring. The town would then be able to move forward with fixing the area, which previously was not part of its renourishment project.
Plans to fix other beach areas damaged by Hurricane Matthew are unknown at this time.