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Hurricane Matthew - Week Fourteen Highlights: January 13, 2017
Highlights for the Town of Hilton Head Island

by Town Manager, Steve Riley

  • Through January 11th a total of 1,659,007 CY's of vegetative disaster debris has been collected; and 42,402 Hangers and 5,246 Leaners removed.

  • To date 530,032 CY's of mulch has been hauled out to various locations to include a paper mill, local farm, Savannah to be shipped over-seas, Oakwood Landfill, Fire wood supply company, Lumber supply company, a hardwood sawmill and to the Port of Savannah for logs to be exported to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The contractor and town staff continue to work on identifying additional sources to accept the material.

  • 71 Crews are working simultaneously to pick up disaster debris in all public and private roadway areas.

  • There remain private roads for which the Town has yet to receive authorization from FEMA for clearing of roadside debris. A new team from FEMA has been assigned to the project and is trying to get up to speed. Staff continues to press for a determination.

  • There continues to be an increase in traffic at the citizen drop-off sites as residents are receiving insurance payments and initiating more home repairs.

  • The Town has created a Disaster Debris Collection Dashboard that can be found on the town's website under the Disaster Recovery Portal. The information will be updated weekly. To review this information, use the following link: www.hiltonheadislandsc.gov/recovery/debrisinfo.cfm

  • The Grinding of the Greens Program has been re-established again this year for recycling Christmas trees. Drop-off locations are at Coligny Beach Park and the Old Gullah Flea Market Site. The last day to drop off your Christmas tree is Sunday January 15th. Jones Brothers Tree Service will be grinding the trees on that date. Free mulch will be available at both sites through the end of January. Christmas trees are not disaster-related debris and may not be placed at the side of the road.

  • The Public Comment period for the Town's proposed emergency beach renourishment project remains open. The Town had hoped to add this additional work to the contract just completed by Week's Marine Construction. Instead, this project will now be bid separately. The timing and cost for this have yet to be determined.

  • The State Department of Natural Resources has committed to notifying owners of abandoned boats of their responsibility to remove them from the waters and marshes of the State. They will also initiate the process to have boats declared abandoned if no owner can be found. This is the limit of what the State will do with respect to marine debris created by Hurricane Matthew. The Town and County Staffs continue to meet to discuss how best to address this need. Since these are State waters, FEMA has questioned the eligibility for reimbursement of any such costs to address a problem we are not technically responsible for. The County is working with the State to try to address this question.

  • Staff met this week with representatives from FEMA and SCEMD to finalize our first grant application ("worksheets" in FEMA parlance) for reimbursement of storm-related costs. Based on their input, a formal application will be submitted in the coming days. FEMA emphasized that they are short-staffed and they could offer no assurances on when our application will be reviewed or approved; nor when we might expect reimbursement.

  • Emergency Building Permits issued: 743

  • Regular Building Permits issued: 865

  • Those in need of assistance or those who are able to donate their time should call the County Help Line at 843-524-HELP.

  • The Community Foundation of the Lowcountry is the Town's official partner for all fund-raising efforts. Donations to assist those in need can be made by contacting the Foundation at 843.681.9100. To make a donation to the Disaster Recovery and Rebuilding fund, click on this link: www.cf-lowcountry.org/GivingThroughtheFoundation/DonateOnline.aspx?fn=Disaster+Recovery+and+Rebuilding+Fund#donate

  • For those seeking assistance from FEMA, information can be found at www.disasterassistance.gov or on the Town website.