Beach floods, but things could have been worse | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | October 7, 2015 3:21 pm
Last Updated: October 7, 2015 at 3:24 pm
Photo by DAWN RIZER
Edisto Beach residents are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, as water is finally starting to recede and this rainbow appeared.
By KATRENA McCALL
More than anything, Edisto Beach Mayor Jane Darby is thankful.
The situation at the beach was bad, she said, but no one was injured, the town’s water and sewer systems remained intact and most homes were not severely damaged.
“We have a lot of blessings over here,” she said. “When you look at Columbia and other areas, I think the good Lord was good to us.”
The only casualty of the weekend of flooding was one of the town’s patrol cars, which lost an engine in the flood waters. Another car is “sick,” but can probably be nursed back to health.
Town officials met on Friday to make plans for the onslaught. “By Saturday afternoon, water was everywhere,” Darby said. “It came over the beach, the lagoons overflowed, the ocean washed over the roads.”
What saved most homes was the fact that they are elevated. The town’s buildings weren’t so lucky; they did have some flooding, mostly in storage rooms. “We’re just beginning to determine the damage,” she said Tuesday. “At this point, we just don’t know” because they have been unable to see the front beach due to the high tides.
Once the water goes down, officials will be able to determine how badly the beach eroded during the storm. The town has contacted its beach management consulting firm, CSC, to compile an assessment of how much of the beach washed away. Officials are also working closely with Colleton County Administrator Kevin Griffin and the building inspector with the flood department to determine what funding the town will be eligible for to rebuild the sand on the beach, as well as other damage, she said. But it will take time to determine what that damage is and put together an estimate of how much it will cost to repair it.
She can’t say enough about all of the town’s employees, Darby said. Everyone pulled together, worked hard and helped others.
Police Chief George Brothers and his team spent the weekend riding the roads and making sure everyone was safe. Access to the beach had to be shut down Saturday-Monday, because the breaking waves and sand accumulation at the pavilion, combined with about 15 inches of water almost everywhere else, made travel dangerous.
Adding to the water are things like gutters and 2x4s washing into the road from the beachfront houses, which have had breakers under them basically all week, he said. The water has not receded enough to determine how much damage the homes have suffered.
On Sunday the road in front of the pavilion was covered by about 18 inches of sand in addition to water, Brothers said.
By Tuesday, only the 2900 and 3000 blocks were still blocked by water, Darby said. “There’s still some wash-over from the ocean, but nowhere near what it was.”
“We have survived, and we are going to be even better,” Darby said.