Hurricane

Hilton Head mayor: Here’s what we’ve done, and what we need to do

First look: Sea Pines after Hurricane Matthew

File: Reporter Erin Heffernan shares the effects of Hurricane Matthew on the Sea Pines community on Oct. 9, a day after the major storm blew by Hilton Head Island, its eyewall just 5 to 10 miles offshore.
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File: Reporter Erin Heffernan shares the effects of Hurricane Matthew on the Sea Pines community on Oct. 9, a day after the major storm blew by Hilton Head Island, its eyewall just 5 to 10 miles offshore.

Hilton Head Mayor David Bennett said late Saturday on Facebook that the town has moved quickly into the recovery phase after Hurricane Matthew battered the region with more than 18 inches of rain, equivelent of a 1,000 year flood.

“Much progress has been made and much progress remains to be accomplished,” Bennett said on Facebook last night.

He posted last night that first responders, advance teams, and debris removal crews have made “tremendous” progress in the last 24 hours.

According to the mayor, here’s what’s been done:

  • All but one of Hilton Head fire stations, including the airport fire station operated by Beaufort County, Fire & Rescue headquarters and the 911 Dispatch center are operable
  • The Hilton Head Hospital is accessable, but it does not currently have water service (the Public Service District is working to re-establish service).
  • The Hilton Head Airport is accessible.
  • Numerous drainage lift stations and utility pump stations were brought back on-line.
  • Significant breaches in water mains were located with repair work beginning today.
  • Town Hall has been made operable
  • Significant utility repair progress was made with some neighborhoods reporting 100% restoration.

Here’s what the town plans on working on today:

  • Work to assess the condition of the public school campus
  • Continue to repair important utility infrastructure
  • Work to make the Hilton Head Hospital operable

On Sunday, Hilton Head Island will begin a process of working to get FEMA assistance, according to Bennett. These inspectors will be assisted by five additional debris removal squads, who will clear blocked roadways.

Bennett said that POA security crews with security passes will be permitted back on the island to begin securing their plantations or neighborhoods. The Town of Hilton Head Island will make direct contact with plantation and neighborhood managers, Bennett said.

“Your town manager and his staff, fire and rescue members, Beaufort County officials, utility repair and debris management teams along with Sheriff Tanner and his deputies are all working extremely hard toward the singular goal of returning each of you to your homes as soon as is safely possible,” he said on Facebook.

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Bennett said he will speak with other county officials “to size up what exactly remains to be done before our citizens can return to their homes.”

“I will not rest easy until that goal is accomplished,” Bennett said.

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