Feet of sand cover Edisto Beach street after Hurricane Matthew

The shoreline of Edisto Beach has moved inland because of Hurricane Matthew. (Bill Burr/WCIV)

Palmetto Boulevard runs parallel to the coast. After Hurricane Matthew it looks as if part of the coast has become Palmetto Boulevard.

Storm surge cause rearranged at least four feet of sand and caused incredible damage. Town officials say it's going to take a lot to bring the small resort town back to normal.

A crumbled house on the coast is just part of the devastation Hurricane Matthew brought to Edisto Beach. Known as a scenic area it's now the scene of a deserted enclave of Colleton County. The powerful storm wiped out power, damaged the water system and brought a sleepy beach community to its knees. Town leaders say residents can begin surveying their homes on Tuesday if they show proper ID.

"They may only access their property for the one day and may not visit any other area or building. We still have dangerous areas where it would imperil them to be," said Mayor Mary Darby.

Many of the town's 700 or so full-time residents gathered at the Edistonian General Store so they could learn damage reports and get information on when they could possibly return home.

"We actually slept at the store last night," said Edisto Beach business owner Lou Rasmussen. "Camping out. Sleeping on air mattresses."

Mayor Darby is optimistic the power will be restored to the beach in the next several days. In terms of things returning to normal, she's hopeful some folks can start to move back to Edisto perhaps later this year.

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