COLUMBIA, S.C. - The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) will reopen some shellfish harvesting areas in Beaufort County previously closed due to excessive rainfall from Hurricane Matthew, the agency announced today.

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:

Federal Emergency Management Inspectors (FEMA) Inspectors have arrived in Beaufort County to begin damage assessment and inspections for those that have applied for individual assistance and other assignments.

Dates have been scheduled to allow the burning of yard waste due to Hurricane Matthew. The dates will be Saturday 10/22/2016 through sunset on Sunday 10/30/2016.
Please be advised the rules of the Town’s burning ordinance still apply:

Looking for Hurricane Matthew recovery updates? Find links to the latest news and information here:

If you see a hazardous tree in a Public Road Right-of-Way or on a Town property and would like to report it; please go to the Town of Hilton Head Island's website under Disaster Recovery, Report Public Infrastructure/Code Violations http://www.hiltonheadislandsc.gov/recovery/crm.cfm.

The Town will address these on a priority basis as they are discovered. A comprehensive listing of public roadways can be found on the Town's website as well.

The Town is not addressing hazardous trees on private property, unless it is leaning or hanging over a Public Road Right-of-Way, in which case it will be removed or cut at the Right-of-Way line. Private property owners, including private roads, are responsible for and should address any hazardous trees on their property.

On Saturday October 15th alone, Town contractors removed more than 700 hazardous trees and limbs over public roadways and properties. 14 bucket truck crews were in operation and more crews have been added today.

Comprehensive List of Public Roadways on Hilton Head Island

The Town of Bluffton’s Building and Safety Staff recently completed the damage assessment of structures following Hurricane Matthew.

Residents may notice either a green, yellow or red placard posted on their property by Town Staff.  If no placard is posted on the property, that indicates there was either no damage, or very minor damage visible at the time of the inspection.  A green placard indicates some minor damage was observed, and a permit is not necessary for the minor repairs to be corrected immediately.  Minor repairs may include broken windows, damaged railings or missing siding. 

The Town’s contractor, Weeks Marine Incorporated expects to restart beach renourishment activities in South Forest Beach no later than October 19, 2016. 

The Town desires to replace the sand washed from our design template along the central oceanfront beach as a result of Hurricane Matthew.  While the storm related sand losses from the template are measureable, the majority of the sand recently pumped on the beach remains in place.

"As most of you have probably heard Hilton Head Island received a direct hit from Hurricane Matthew. Damage is severe. This video was shot entirely with my iPhone. Other areas on the island were hit much harder. I couldn't be prouder of my brothers and sisters with Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue and others from around the state who are helping us make the island safe for reentry. Pray for us as we recover from this storm!" Tom Bouthillet

 

The credit for the video goes to Tom Bouthillet, the fire captain for the Hilton Head Fire & Rescue

Special Building Permits

Over the next 30 days, the Town of Bluffton will waive fees for permits to make structural repairs for damage sustained to properties from Hurricane Matthew. During this 30-day period, the Town will not be accepting new single family or commercial permits unless a special circumstance is warranted.

“We want residents affected by the storm to have first priority when it comes to fixing their home,” said Town Manager Marc Orlando.

Professional building inspectors will conduct a survey of homes for potential hazards. They will leave behind a placard to communicate the results of their inspection. The color of the placard indicates the condition of the structure, and how safe it is to enter.