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Edisto Beach businesses feeling the sting of Irma as tourist season winds down

Empty table at Finn's Island Grill, Edisto Beach (WCIV)

Most people on Edisto Beach since Tropical Storm Irma have been driving backhoes, not sitting in beach chairs or walking along the shore.

As cleanup continues from Tropical Storm Irma, a popular beachfront watering hole is feeling the pinch brought by the lack of visitors.

Trevor Porcoro has been bartending at Finn's Island Grill for two years.

"(We've had) back to back hurricanes (after) we didn't have any for 40 plus years here, so it definitely hurt us,” Porcaro says.

Hurricane Matthew in October 2016 leveled beach houses and buried parts of the island under feet of sand and water for weeks. Tropical Storm Irma gave Edisto a taste of the same medicine, although the damage wasn't as severe.

Both storms were particularly damaging to Edisto Beach State Park, which is located adjacent to Finn's coming onto the island.

Matthew shut down the state park camp ground for months, and it had only reopened in June. It's been shut down again indefinitely after Irma.

"The state park, that was kind of half our business with people coming in and grabbing lunch and dinner," Porcoro said. "That's really impacted us this year."

The owner of Finn's says even holiday weekends have been slow this year. It's the first time in years’ ocean front property was available during the peak of tourist season.

"From what I’ve heard from business owners and locals, it's definitely not common for it to be like this especially, this time of year,” Porcoro says.

But Trevor says it's this time of year they need that business the most.

"This is the end of the season for us," Porcoro said. "This is when people make their money -- before the end of the year, before it really starts to slow down at the end of October, so it's definitely hurt business owners, especially."

And with lighter pockets Trevor is praying for busier beach days.

"I make my money when people come in. It's just not that good, you need people here,” Porcoro says.

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