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Hurricane Matthew - Week Three Highlights
October 28, 2016
Highlights for the Town of Hilton Head Island

by Town Manager, Steve Riley

  • The big news this week was the authorization from FEMA to authorize the Town to begin to clear debris from private roads in the major PUDs. This is an important first step, but we must now begin the work of collecting the documentation required by FEMA to gain approval to clear the debris for all of the private dirt roads.

  • FEMA's approval was contingent on a review of documentation regarding: proof of road ownership; insurance coverage, and a waiver of liability. The larger PUDs were able to produce this documentation in a timely manner. This may prove more challenging for the smaller PUDs and private roads.

  • Staff will be reaching out PUDs where a contact is known and urging representatives of other PUDs to come forward. Public meetings with POAs to explain the process have been scheduled for Monday October 31st at 10:00 am and Tuesday, November 1st at 6:00 pm. Both meetings will be in Council Chambers.

  • Commercial parking lots, including apartment and condo parking lots, are not eligible for reimbursement.

  • Town Staff continues to coordinate with the County on a wide range of issues including debris clearing, debris disposal, storm water management, and coordination with state and federal agencies.

  • FEMA representatives were in Town earlier this week to scout sites for a Disaster Assistance Center where individuals can meet with FEMA staff to discuss eligibility for assistance. The site chosen was the Town Council Chambers at Town Hall. The expectation is that this center will open on Thursday of next week.

  • Because of staffing shortages, FEMA is expected to operate the Island Center from Thursday through Saturday. A Center in northern Beaufort County will operate Monday through Wednesday.  Specific hours will be announced next week.

  • FEMA representatives continue to conduct visits with individuals who have already registered online at disasterassistance.gov.

  • Town meetings will be relocated to other meeting rooms throughout the Town for the next several months. Town Council saw the importance of having the FEMA Assistance Center physically located on the Island and was willing to take their meetings "on the road."

  • Events continue to be held throughout the community to benefit Deep Well, the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry's Disaster Assistance Fund and other local charities providing assistance to victims of the hurricane.

  • Staff has completed Damage Assessments for each of the 19,688 structures on the Island!

  • Damaged structures account for less than 15% of all structures and those with at least 50% damage account for less than 1.5% of all structures.

  • A total of 150 emergency repair permits have been issued as of Friday afternoon.

  • 336 new Business Licences have been issued.

  • Town Hall will be open 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Saturday October 29th for emergency permitting and business licenses.

  • On Monday October 31st, the Town will resume regular hours: Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.

  • The Town will resume acceptance of applications for new Building Permits on Monday October 31st.

  • Palmetto Electric reports that the Utility Undergrounding project that we began in 2004 paid big dividends in enabling them to get power restored more quickly.

  • An initial meeting was conducted this week by the SC Emergency Management Department to review the FEMA reimbursement process. We are expecting that FEMA will conduct their public assistance kickoff meeting next week.

  • Over 30 Town employees received training and have temporarily handled post-disaster tasks beyond their normal job responsibilities; enabling the Town to more quickly respond to customer needs.