‘It was bedlam’ for those left in Sea Pines after Hurricane Matthew

Sea Pines from the air as photographed Oct. 8, 2016.
Sea Pines from the air as photographed Oct. 8, 2016. Submitted photo

Rosemary Savage climbs over a tree trunk to walk to the Club Course neighborhood. She still looks wide-eyed at the destruction she sees through one of Hilton Head’s most iconic neighborhoods and tourist destinations.

Savage slept through the storm when it slammed Sea Pines in the middle of the night Oct. 8.

“When I woke up, it was bedlam.” she says. “Bedlam.”

Most roads were impassable because of downed trees or flooding. There was no power. No water or sewer service. There was no way in or out of the neighborhood by car. She wasn’t able to even ride a bike around because so many pathways were obstructed.

Roofs were damaged. Yards were flooded. Even where there wasn’t trees, plant debris coated some streets like carpet.

Towering trees were uprooted every few yards near where she stayed during the storm in Carolina Place.

Now, about 24-hours after the storm began to clear, she still sounds shaken at what she sees.

“I can’t believe this,” she said. “I’m the type that’s not going to evacuate, but looking at this I know why everyone else did.”

Sea Pines resident John Skinner, who lives in the Club Course neighborhood, said every time he went outside after the storm, he saw new problems.

“At first it was a lot of water and I thought: ‘oh this isn’t that bad,’” Skinner said. But Skinner soon heard a tree fall in his neighbor’s yard and ventured out to see that large trees had fallen all over what he could see of Sea Pines.

Residents and visitors interviewed in the community said the Beach Club and the Harbour Town Lighthouse appear unharmed, but downed trees made blocked many roads through the neighborhood.

Erin Heffernan: 843-706-8142, @IPBG_Erinh