Surfside Beach government plans Hurricane Matthew recovery

Surfside Beach government plans Hurricane Matthew recovery

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - While many home and business owners awaited the return of power following Hurricane Matthew, on Tuesday local governments like Surfside Beach turned their focus to rebuilding.

"We're in the process of picking up debris, and you can see the pile of debris behind me," explained Surfside Beach Mayor Bob Chidls. "It's pretty much all over town like that. Our crews are working very early and staying until late and getting up up as fast as they can. I would ask everyone to be patient because they are not taking any breaks."

While some people in Surfside Beach practiced patience while they were still without power Tuesday, the real damage from Hurricane Matthew was the town's greatest asset.

"We've lost a lot of our beach; we've lost our dunes," Childs said.

The beaches in Surfside Beach were planned to be replenished and renourished during the 2016-2017 off-season. Childs said the renourishment was originally planned before Hurricane Matthew hit. He added that it had not taken place before the storm hit, and now with the coastline, the dunes and the beaches suffering significant damage, it is imperative the project happens before the next summer season.

"I think if we had done it earlier, we would have lost the beach renourishment, you know, everything we'd built back up to," Childs said.

The town is waiting for the go-ahead from the Army Corps of Engineers to begin the project. It is spending the majority of next year's budget to fund the restocking of sand and dunes.

Childs said he was hopeful the project would be underway by winter.

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