Hilton Head Island still in recovery phase from Hurricane Matthew

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WTOC) - The holiday season looks a lot different this year for many folks in Hilton Head who are still recovering from Hurricane Matthew.

WTOC sat down with the town manager to discuss the progress that has been made, as well as how much work still needs to be done. He says the island is still very much in the recovery process. Only about one-third of all the debris has been picked up so far. Most of it has finally been cleared from the roads - about 1.4-million cubic yards already picked up and removed - but the total estimate is well over two-million cubic yards for everything that came down in the storm.

However, it goes further than what meets the eye. Now, problems created by Matthew under the surface also need to be addressed. Just days ago, a sinkhole was discovered where water had collected from the storm. As far as residential damages go, less than 25 percent of the homes that applied for emergency permits have been fully repaired. Town Manager Steve Riley says there is still a lot going on with the recovery process that people are dealing with, which will continue well into the new year.

"We have the holidays, and you know, everyone's excited about that, but it's also a different kind of year, but a lot to give thanks for, you know. Nobody died in the storm, we're all still here. The damage, while bad, was not anything like it could have been, and we will rebuild, and we'll come back better. There's a lot to look forward to," Riley said.

The cost of Hurricane Matthew, with most of that coming from debris removal, is something town leaders are already looking at how to tackle going into the budget for the new year.

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