'Edisto Attitude' Helps SC Beach Town Rebuild After Hurricane Matthew

Resiliency. Call it the 'Edisto Attitude.'

EDISTO BEACH, S.C. -- No electricity, no water and no ambulances.

"We are essentially without services right now but what you know what? We're getting it done," said Edisto Beach Mayor Jane Darby after Hurricane Matthew made a terrible mark on the tiny beach town on October 2016.

Resiliency, or as some locals like to call it the "Edisto Attitude."

Nearly nine months after feeling the wrath of Hurricane Matthew, Edisto Beach is finding its feet after being decimated by Hurricane Matthew.

"It's bad, real bad," the Edisto Beach Chief of Police George Brothers told NBC Charlotte at the time of the hurricane when surveying the damage.

Reporter Evan West rode around Edisto Beach with Brothers, who can't believe how far the town has come since Hurricane Matthew.

"Palmetto Boulevard was buried underneath five feet of sand," Chief Brothers said. "The town and the people were really struggling for a while there after the storm because this is a tourist town and there were no tourists."

Before the storm, Edisto Beach town administrator Iris Hill said anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 visitors per day enjoyed the beach during the tourist season in the summer months.

But the town has worked extremely hard to get the beach back in tip-top shape.

"We have spent probably about $3 million in recovery," said Hill, who added that the beach received a $12.2 million facelift known as the Beach Nourishment Project, which has the sandy strip looking better than ever.

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"It was a monumental task and we're very proud of what we've done as a town," said Hill.

Only one house was completely wiped out in the storm, but dozens suffered the kind of destruction that called for desperate repair.

Chief Brothers said if the tides were higher when the hurricane hit Edisto, the beach would have disappeared. Fortunately, the low tide saved the beach and no injuries were reported after Hurricane Matthew hit Edisto Beach.

Fast-forward nearly nine months, and you'll see that some rental properties are still not ready along with signs that a storm withered the coast just months ago but the "Edisto Attitude" has helped bring the town back into the spotlight and this time, for good reason.

No longer does sand sit five feet above Palmetto Boulevard, cars stroll down the streets, and people walk from house to beach as life continues to return to normal on Edisto Beach.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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