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Edisto City Council Meets to Discuss Hurricane Matthew Disaster Relief

Photo by Anna Crosby.

By Anna Crosby

Hurricane Matthew left more destruction in its wake to Edisto Island and along the beach than Hurricane Hugo did in 1989, according to many.
With the damages still being evaluated, Edisto Beach officials say it is uncertain when residents will be able to get back to their homes to assess the losses to their properties. Many residents who were not allowed back to their homes after S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley lifted the evacuation met before Edisto Beach Town Council during a Monday meeting, and said pubicly they felt they were being treated unfairly.
There are several Edisto residents who feel that these limited return-to-residence policies are unfair, especially given the fact that city officials, as well as reporters have been allowed to come and go from the island as they please. During Monday’s meeting, Mayor Jane Darby justified many of the resident’s concerns for not being allowed on the island as procedure to keep residents safe. With that being said, at the Edisto City Council meeting on Monday, Darby opened the meeting with a prayer from a book a friend gave her called Surviving Hurricanes.
During the meeting, Darby gave “Starfish Awards” to some of the city officials for their “exemplary efforts” in their contribution to the disaster relief of Hurricane Matthew. However, no updated return-to-residence policy was distributed to residents.
During public comments, all of the residents who spoke thanked all those who have helped with disaster relief, regardless of their differences of opinion on how disaster relief protocol should have been enacted. One unnamed resident was cut off while in the process of suggesting that permanent residents could be administered cards for circumstances such as dealing with the aftermath of a Hurricane, or any other natural disaster for that matter, that would allow residents to come back to their homes to check on their properties legally, which is something that ordinary residents have not had the opportunity to do after this particular storm.
Another unnamed resident made the comment after the meeting that “maybe Edisto city officials should do research or ask other island communities, for example Isle of Palms, how their disaster relief protocols are prearranged for island residents.” This resident suggested that with knowing how other islands with a larger population handle situations such as this, it might make residents feel more at ease rather than feeling that they are being treated unfairly for just wanting to assess damage to their own properties, so that they might know where they stand with dealing with their individual disaster relief efforts to their personal property.

Special to The Colletonian (1555 Posts)