Palmetto Bay Marina boats return home

(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)

BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) - It's been five months since a group of Hilton Head residents found themselves homeless after Hurricane Matthew.

The strong winds and waves destroyed the Palmetto Bay Marina, causing several boats to float away and others to be stuck in the marsh.

The final step in the long ordeal for Palmetto Bay residents was putting the boats back where they belong. For residents like Donna Hardin, this day couldn't come soon enough. Her boat was one of many stuck in the marsh after the storm.

"It was up against the tree and it was sideways. It was at such tilt it made it impossible to get on. The storage bin lid came off during the storm so all the water ran right through so I had a lot of water damage," said Hardin.

So neighbors worked together for months, raising money and volunteering services to help the boat owners return home.

"Anytime that we as a whole, as a company that I represent to give even a little bit of a discount to help less fortunate get their life back in order after a storm it makes us feel better," said Bigum's Outdoor Solutions Regional Director Clifton Catron.

"We got to give these guys a quality place to live and what you see behind us is just that. it's a place people call home. It wasn't six boats in the water and all of our guys knew that. It was six homes," said James McGrath, of Tiny Homes of Hilton Head.

"I finally get to see my boat, work on my boat, fix her back up and give her some TLC. it's a happy feeling knowing I'm one step closer to getting it floating and living back on my boat," sid Matthew Leitner.

There were about a dozen boats stuck in the marsh after the storm. Now, only three are left. They're property of the marina and they will have to remove it.

A GoFundMe account has been started to continue the recovery efforts.

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