Routines in northern Beaufort County are still far from normal in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, but some businesses and government services have resumed operations.
The Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce office will reopen at 8 a.m. and the visitors center at 9 a.m. Wednesday. It also offered a roundup of news in a release Tuesday:
▪ At Parris Island, Marine recruit graduation for Golf and Oscar Companies will take place at p.m. Friday at the Peatross Parade Deck. However, family day activities typically held on Wednesdays and Thursdays have been canceled this week. Guests will not be allowed on Parris Island until 8 a.m. Friday. Guests who booked local accommodations before the storm should confirm their reservations before traveling to Beaufort.
▪ The Beaufort County dusk until dawn curfew has been lifted.
▪ The boil-water advisories have been lifted for St. Helena, Coosaw, Gibbs, Cane, Cat, Distant, Warsaw and Vivian’s islands as well as Point South.
▪ Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s emergency services have resumed. Also opened are Beaufort Primary Care in the Beaufort Medical Plaza; Orthopaedic Specialists at 1251 Ribaut Road; the imaging services and the lab at Beaufort Memorial and Beaufort Medical Plaza; adult orthopaedics’ rehabilitation services at 1251 Ribaut Road; pediatric rehabilitation services at Beaufort Medical Plaza and Bluffton Medical Services; and the wound care center at Beaufort Medical Plaza.
In the town of Port Royal, trash pickup will resume Wednesday, according to Mayor Sam Murray. He also said that:
. There are no food- or water-distribution centers in the town.
. He has received complaints from electric line workers, who say their work is frequently interrupted by people stopping to talk to them. He asked that they be left alone to complete their work. Additional trucks were in town Tuesday to speed the restoration of power, and getting electricity reconnected to the sewer system is the top priority.
. The town's leadership and work crews have done a "tremendous job" cleaning up the city. Most roads in Port Royal are now passable. Exceptions are Lenora Drive and Old Shell Road, the latter of which is nearly cleared.
In other news:
▪ Port Royal’s public hearing and council meeting is still on for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Town Hall. However, city of Beaufort canceled its Tuesday council meeting and this week’s informational meetings on a new online payment system for accommodations taxes and business license renewals.
▪ Port Royal Veterinary Hospital is open. For the emergency room, call 843-263-3030.
▪ Warm meals will be served at St. Helena Elementary School; 1025 Sea Island Parkway in St. Helena. The storm shelter at Battery Creek High School is also still in operation.
▪ The camp ground at Hunting Island State Park will be closed until at least Oct. 31.
▪ Two people have started post-exposure treatment after potentially being exposed to rabies by a baby raccoon that tested positive for the disease, according to a news release from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. The incident occured before Hurricane Matthew’s arrival, but DHEC warns that the storm likely displaced many animals, including some that carry rabies.
“Always play it safe and give animals their space, particularly wild and stray animals. If you see an animal in need, contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in your area,” Sandra Craig of DHEC’s Bureau of Environmental Health Services said. In addition to being cautious around wild or stray animals, keeping your pets up-to-date on their rabies vaccination is one of the easiest and most effective ways you can protect yourself, your family and your pets from this fatal disease.
On Sept. 29, a victim picked up the juvenile raccoon on the side of the road near the Beaufort Town Center. The victims were exposed while providing care for the animal. The raccoon began acting abnormally, and was submitted to DHEC’s laboratory for testing Sept. 30. It was confirmed to have rabies the next day.
The raccoon is the 11th animal in Beaufort County to test positive for rabies in 2016. There have been 79 confirmed cases of animal rabies statewide this year. In 2015, three of the 130 rabies cases in South Carolina were in Beaufort County.
For more information on rabies, go to www.scdhec.gov/rabies, or contact your local DHEC BEHS office at www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/DHECLocations. CDC's rabies webpage can be found at www.cdc.gov/rabies.