Gov. Henry McMaster toured Irma-battered Edisto Beach on Thursday.
“It will take a little while to fix it, but it can be fixed,” McMaster told reporters after surveying the damage. “Machines are moving all over the place, they’re getting sand off the road.”
A strong storm surge destroyed protective sand dunes and washed sand from the beach into town, covering its main road. State Department of Transportation crews hope to have all the sand removed from the street by the end of the weekend.
“Weather permitting, we expect to complete our sand removal operations before the end of the weekend and return the roads back to full-service,”Transportation Secretary Christy Hall said.
Some things won’t be open for a while. State Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism director Duane Parrish said Edisto Beach State Park and its campgrounds were hit hard. “The campgrounds we’re still assessing,” he said. “It will take a little bit longer. Maybe a couple of months.”
Edisto Beach was among the eight coastal barrier islands the governor ordered evacuated Saturday as Irma approached. Roughly 70 of the town’s 400 residents decided to stay and ride out the storm, according to mayor Jane Darby.
The police department Thursday lifted a curfew, saying the town is now open to oboth residents and visitors. The announcement ended five days of evacuation or restricted access to the island since September 9.