Hurricane Matthew Leaves Its Impact on Kiawah , Lowcountry
In early October , Hurricane Matthew moved along the Charleston coast as a strong Category 1 storm , bringing powerful winds and heavy rains to the Lowcountry . Fortunately the worst of the storm came ashore in the early morning hours of Saturday , Oct . 8 , while Kiawah was experiencing low tide . Still , the storm surge was significant enough to destroy or seriously damage most of the island ’ s beach boardwalks and reshape Kiawah ’ s dune system . Along the Kiawah River , many docks sustained severe damage , including KICA ’ s dock at Rhett ’ s Bluff .
All across the island , there were downed trees and significant debris . KICA ’ s emergency contractors and others , including those hired by the town , were among the first to return to the island on the afternoon of Oct . 8 , and work began immediately to open the roadways . KICA ’ s full complement of land management personnel , supported by more than 50 contract employees hired for debris work , were out in force Sunday , Oct . 9 , and worked 11-hour shifts throughout the week . Remarkably , less than 48 hours after the winds died down , all 59 miles of KICA-owned roads were open for traffic . The Town of Kiawah Island ’ s then-Mayor Lipuma authorized re-entry to the island Monday , Oct . 10 at noon .
Thankfully there was no major structural damage , serious injury or loss of life . Damage repair costs , initially estimated at between $ 2 million and $ 3 million , came in significantly lower than expected - total recovery costs are projected at just over $ 1.3 million . KICA and Town of Kiawah Island staff cleaned up the community in record time , and worked collaboratively to ensure expenses were kept in check .
At a special meeting Tuesday , Dec . 20 , the KICA Board of Directors voted to approve an additional 2016 Supplemental Assessment to recoup $ 1.1 million of Hurricane Matthew expenditures , while absorbing the remaining costs . For more information on this and other assessments , visit kica . us / finances .
“ As we continue our recovery efforts , we can reflect proudly on the extraordinary job done by our entire team ,” said KICA COO Jimmy Bailey . “ All involved in this effort have worked together toward a common goal of getting back to normal as quickly as possible . The work has not been easy , but the collaboration has been outstanding .”