Town of Bluffton continuing to take steps in recovering from Hurricane Matthew

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Since October 8 when Hurricane Matthew came through Bluffton causing downed trees, downed power lines, power outages and structural damage, the Town has focused on recovery. While much has been done, much more must be accomplished.  In an effort to help inform residents, the Town of Bluffton offers the following information:

  • The Town of Bluffton continues to focus on debris removal, emergency permitting, and assisting residents who need help.
  • The Town of Bluffton and Beaufort County have each launched websites to keep the public informed regarding Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts:
  • Individuals seeking assistance as a result of Hurricane Matthew may contact FEMA for assistance in the following ways:
    • FEMA Helpline:  1-800-621-3362
    • FEMA Helpline TTY (for hearing impaired): 1-800-462-7585
    • FEMA Website:
  • A total of 140 structures within the Town limits were impacted by the storm and categorized as minor, serious or major damage. To date, the Town has issued a total of 12 emergency permits: three to demolish structures; one to replace a roof; and eight to remodel structures due to damage sustained from the storm.
  • Town Hall’s Customer Service Department will extend their hours this Friday, October 28 and remain open for the public until 5:30 p.m. to assist those who need emergency permits or need help in other areas.
  • Congressman Mark Sanford will be at Bluffton Town Hall Wednesday, October 26 from 10:45 am to 11:45 am to assist residents who have questions or need assistance as a result of the storm.
  • Beaufort County Council passed a Proclamation on October 24, 2016 declaring a state of emergency throughout the county. This means that Beaufort County has committed to the clean-up of all roads in the county, to include public roads and private roads located within municipalities as well as in the unincorporated portions of the county.  For private roads, the timing of the clean-up is still contingent upon the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) decision regarding a request that private roads be eligible for reimbursement for debris clean-up.  Any private roadways cleaned up prior to FEMA approval become ineligible for reimbursement.
  • Consistent with Beaufort County’s guidance, the Town advises that all Class 1 and Class 2 storm-related debris be pushed to the end of the right of way or curb. Class 1 debris is categorized as tree limbs, leaves and tree logs cut into sections. Class 2 debris includes building materials, drywall, lumber, carpet, furniture, mattresses, and plumbing items. Once these items are pushed to the curb, it is very important to stress that Class 1 and Class 2 debris must be placed into two separate piles.  Failure to separate these types of debris into distinct piles will make them ineligible for pick-up. As these piles are pushed to the curb, residents are reminded to not block fire hydrants, stormwater ditches or utility boxes.
  • Residents should avoid parking near debris piles.  Vehicles parked too closely to debris may prevent crews from picking it up due to the size of the equipment being used for collection.
  • Dumpsters remain at Oyster Factory Park and Oscar Frazier Park for residents to transport and dump vegetative yard debris. These dumpsters are not for construction debris or household trash.
  • All Town parks and facilities are open for business and public use, as applicable.
  • The only competitive High School Rowing Team in South Carolina is now practicing in Bluffton due to their Hilton Head Island dock being damaged by Matthew. The students now travel to Oyster Factory Park each afternoon to practice along the May River in preparation for their final competition of the season on November 12.
  • Just two weeks after Hurricane Matthew, Bluffton celebrated its Twelfth Annual Historic Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival over the weekend. Calhoun Street and the Promenade were full of fun and laughter. There were an estimated 25,000 people in the Bluffton Old Town Historic District which shows just how resilient Bluffton is and how we won’t let a hurricane get in the way of what we love – each other and this Town.
  • Please direct any questions related to the Town of Bluffton Hurricane Matthew Recovery efforts to Town Manager Marc Orlando at morlando@townofbluffton.com.