Hurricane Matthew - Week Eight Highlights December 2, 2016

Highlights for the Town of Hilton Head Island by Town Manager, Steve Riley

  • The deadline to apply for assistance through FEMA; for homeowners, renters, and business owners is December 13, 2016. This can be done in person, at the Disaster Assistance Center at Town Hall, or by going online to
  • The FEMA Disaster Assistance Center at Town Hall remains open from Thursdays through Saturdays with revised hours. The Center is open from 9 am to 5 pm on Thursday and Friday and from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday.
  • Our 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.
  • As of mid-week, over 930,000 cubic yards (CY's) of vegetative disaster debris has been collected- enough to fill Madison Square Garden three times!
  • Curious about the debris removal process? Check out this video:
  • FEMA's Private Property Debris Removal Team was onsite this week to meet with staff and tour neighborhoods that are still being reviewed and considered for authorization of debris removal. Based on the input received, Staff expects to compile and submit a final proposal for private road clearance authorization next week. This will cover all streets on the island not previously authorized or currently under review by FEMA.
  • FEMA assistance teams continued for the third week conducting detailed tours of the Island 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.
  • The beach renourishment effort has entered the final phase of the project as originally contemplated. This section, from near Singleton Beach Place southward through Palmetto Dunes, will include placement of additional sand, at a cost of approximately $700,000, to offset the losses in that section that resulted from the Hurricane. We expect that a large portion of this additional sand will be eligible for reimbursement from FEMA.
  • In the meantime, this week our engineers submitted applications for emergency beach renourishment work in the hardest hit portions of Sea Pines. How long the review by the State and Federal agencies will take and when we will be able to undertake this work is not yet known.
  • The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources will be conducting a survey of the waters and marshes in Beaufort County as part of their efforts to help us all understand the magnitude of the marine debris issue. The SCDNR is committed to working with the Coast Guard in addressing the derelict boat issue, but other marine debris clean-up efforts may fall to the County and Town.
  • Town Staff continues to work with the US Department of Agriculture on gaining approvals for reimbursement for cleaning out the Town's storm water system. We cannot move forward without permits and clearance from the USDA. This will be a time consuming and expensive operation once authorized.
  • Our preliminary estimates of damage have grown to over $77 million. The largest component is the debris removal from our roads; at over $50 million. Many of the other costs will be spread over several budget years as all work will require normal local, state and federal permits and proper bidding in order to be eligible for reimbursement; thus adding to the time that it will take to effect repairs.
  • All engineering staff remains committed to storm-related matters. Very little "normal" work is being undertaken at this time. The Community Development, Facilities Management and Finance Staffs also continue to spend the bulk of their time on storm-related matters.
  • Total Emergency Building Permits issued to date: 529
  • Total Regular Building Permits issued to date: 391
  • View Hurricane Matthew recovery information at