As summer starts, Edisto Beach nearly back to normal after Hurricane Matthew's destruction

(Lindsey Maloney/WCIV)

It's been a tough seven months of repairs and rebuilding, but Edisto Beach officials say the beloved local seaside community has come a long way toward recovery since Hurricane Matthew ravaged its shores in October 2016 .

Mayor Jane Darby says all you have to do is look at before and after photos to see how far Edisto has come.

"What wasn't covered in sand was covered in water. Our trees were down on damaged homes. We had interior streets completely washed out," Darby says.

Edisto beach was unrecognizable.

"What the storm actually did was move six feet of sand from in front of the building and the ocean to right here in the street. Everything that came through here just went along with it. You're not going to beat mother nature," Darby says.

Peter Rapenikas had taken over Finn’s Bar and Grill the month before the storm. He felt like he couldn't keep his head above water.

"The storm hit October 9th and we didn't open up until Feb 3 and the majority of it was just replacing everything you see under the building -- all the utilities, electric, sewer, water things like that," Rapenikas says.

But the storm didn't wash away their hope.

"We have a very independent, can-do attitude down here. We don't whine we just want it done. People stepped up to the plate," Darby says.

They cleaned up and rebuilt.

"We have come a long way," Darby says.

And will continue to move forward, starting with Memorial Day weekend.

"It's time to start catching up. It's been a long time coming and this will be probably the indicator on how the year's going to be," Rapenikas says.

Darby says there's still a lot of work to be done. Town officials are working to put a new water system in place. Looking ahead to October, Darby says the town will start work on improving drainage.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off