What you need to know right now about coming home

Posted by Liz Farrell

Beaufort County residents still waiting to return home after Hurricane Matthew

Frustrated Beaufort County residents wait in long lines to get back to their neighborhoods and assess damage from Hurricane Matthew.
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Frustrated Beaufort County residents wait in long lines to get back to their neighborhoods and assess damage from Hurricane Matthew.

“Patience” is again the keyword of the day. While nearby counties have lifted their evacuation orders, Beaufort County residents are still being told to stay put Sunday.

▪  2:22 p.m.: We are putting together a story right now that explains how re-entry will work. In the meantime, please read our updated main story for details:

▪  12:53 p.m.: Beaufort County officials and emergency personnel said in a press conference Sunday that there is no timeframe set right now for re-entry into the county.

▪  11:15 a.m.: Gov. Nikki Haley held a press conference at 10 a.m. and discussed the re-entry process. Read about that here.

▪  10:35 a.m.: Beaufort County officials are meeting at noon today to discuss re-entry. We will post updates about that here on this story, on our homepage, and on the Packet’s Facebook page or the Gazette’s Facebook page.

<bullet> 9:50 a.m.: People with certain re-entry passes, though, were given the OK to return on Sunday morning.

▪  8 a.m.: Hilton Head Island Mayor David Bennett posted an update on the island’s recovery progress on Facebook late Saturday night. The main focus for re-entry is getting the hospital operational. 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.”

▪  8 a.m.: Beaufort Councilman Stephen Murray posted on his Facebook page late Saturday: “I know it's frustrating, but please have patience and know dozens, if not hundreds of folks are working around the clock to reopen our special hometown as soon as possible.”

▪  8 a.m.: Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka also posted an update on her Facebook page: “There are multiple check points beginning in Beaufort county and they will turn you around. It looks like possibly Monday but use our Facebook pages or the 800 number that Bluffton Police Department keeps posting,” she said.

▪  8 a.m.: The re-entry hotline: 1-800-963-5023

To ask a storm-related question or to find out the answers to questions that have already been asked, please click here.

Re-entry questions

▪  I live on Hilton Head Island, Lady’s Island or a barrier island. Can I come home?

▪  I evacuated but I want to come back so I can help my neighbors in Bluffton. Can I?

▪  What will happen if I try to re-enter Bluffton even though the evacuation order hasn’t been lifted?

▪  Is I-95 still flooded in places or is it open for travel?

▪  How can Beaufort County business owners reopen faster?

▪  I have a re-entry pass. Am I allowed to come home now?

▪  We want to go home. Can we return today?

▪  Is it true that if we leave Beaufort County, we won’t be allowed in again today?

▪  Is there an estimate for when I-95 in the Lowcountry will be cleared and open to traffic?

▪  Will there be checkpoints and an ID requirement to return to Beaufort County?

▪  What do you know about my home and when I can re-enter Beaufort County?

▪  Will evacuations be lifted for specific areas as warranted or be lifted for all areas at the same time?

▪  When will it be OK to return to Hilton Head Island?

▪  How will I know when it’s safe to come home?