Pawley's Island cleaning up after Tropical Storm Irma

Pawley's Island cleaning up after Tropical Storm Irma
Pawleys Island (Photo source: Facebook)

GEORGETOWN COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Clean-up efforts are still underway for many of our coastal communities, including Pawley's Island.

"We were here for the storm," Brenda Teston said. She has been vacationing on the island with her husband, George, all week. The couple was on there during Monday's storms.

"The wind was the worst part. It was blowing like it would never quit," Teston said,

"We had a great time. We hunkered down and had a storm party," George Teston added with a chuckle.

The Town of Pawley's Island administration reported homes and businesses on the island avoided any major damage.

"The homes here are elevated for a reason. We expect water to come up from time to time. We don't really see damage in events like this," town administrator Ryan Fabbri said.

'"I can't imagine how you could have a home here and not have it on stilts," George Teston said.

"The would've lost everything," Brenda Teston added.

The main damage was seen on the coastline.

"Losing the sand dunes was the worst part," Brenda Teston explained. "All of the water started coming and we wanted to get off the island. The water came and we didn't get off the island."

"It's a lot of coastal erosion and then, in certain places where the road is close to the beach, the sand close to the beach was eroded and washed up into the streets," Fabbri said.

After the roadways are clear, crews will start scraping to combat the erosion. Scraping is taking already-existing sand during low tides using heavy machinery and moving it towards the eroding sand dunes to build them back up.

"When the beach erodes, it leaves very little the protect the homes," Fabbri said. "We have to do what we need to push the sand back up to serve as a barrier to the homes, especially with six weeks left in hurricane season."

Scraping will be a temporary fix for the remainder of hurricane season. The town plans to complete a beach re-nourishment project as a long-term solution

Th Teston's cannot wait to take advantage of the re-nourished beach in the future.

"We just love Pawley's Island," Brenda Teston said.

The Town of Pawley's Island plans on getting permits for the beach re-nourishment project by the end of 2017. The administration hopes to start on the project by the spring of 2018.

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