Hurricane Matthew - Week Five Highlights: November 18, 2016

The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved over $14 million in low interest disaster loans for businesses and residents in SC affected by Hurricane Matthew from October 4-30, 2016. This is one of the programs available through the FEMA Disaster Assistance Center currently operating at Town Hall Thursdays through Saturdays.

There is a misconception that FEMA assistance is income-based. Anyone can apply for loans or direct assistance to help with the uncovered costs incurred by the storm. Low interest loans to cover insurance deductibles are a prime example of the assistance available. Assistance is available for owners, renters and businesses.The deadline to apply is December 13, 2016.

This Town's non-profit and faith communities remain committed to assist those who lack the means to get their properties cleaned up, their homes repaired, or their lives back in order. Whether you need assistance or have talents and treasures to share, call 843-524-HELP.

Through November 17th there has been 721,003 cubic yards (CY's) of vegetative disaster debris collected. Crews have removed 35,883 Hangers and 2,749 Leaners.

To date there has been 171, 803 CY's of mulch hauled out to various locations such as a paper mill, a local farm and Savannah to be shipped over-seas in addition to the county landfill that is using a portion of mulch for daily cover. The Town's contractor, as well as Town Staff, is working to identify additional sources to accept the material to avoid paying the tipping fee at the landfill while keeping up with an acceptable haul rate.

The Town's debris management crews began initial work with bucket trucks in the additional private communities approved by FEMA late last week. Debris clearing crews will get into these neighborhoods next week. Meanwhile, Staff continues to work with neighborhood associations to gain FEMA approval to work on clearing additional private roads.

FEMA assistance teams began touring the Island this week with Town Staff to examine areas of known damage plus areas of potential damage. We have a deadline of early January to identify, document and claim any damage. Damage discovered after that time will be ineligible for reimbursement.

In our meetings with FEMA this week, Staff began to get a better sense of the scope and complexity of complying with the documentation requirements that will be necessary to seek reimbursement from FEMA for our disaster response costs. As one example, as mentioned above, our contractors have removed nearly 36,000 hanging trees, or portions of trees, on or over public property. We will have to submit photos of each of those trees, document their location and the justification for their removal. Our monitoring firm has actually been doing this; such that assembling the data in this case may be easier than in many others. But this is the level of detail that will be required for every penny that we seek reimbursement for.

Jarvis Creek Park is open with the exception of the nature trails.

The water feature at Coligny Beach Park is operational as of Nov 17th.

The Holiday Lighting installation is complete at Shelter Cove Park and is set to coincide with the Dove Street lighting this weekend.

Total Emergency Building Permits issued: 449

Total Regular Building Permits issued: 275

The Town Manager and other Senior Staff are available to speak to groups interested in learning more about the storm clean-up and recovery efforts

View more Hurricane Matthew Recovery information at