PIopen

Pawleys Island Town Council member Sarah Zimmerman and Administrator Ryan Fabbri talk via cell phones with the other members of Town Council during a 9 a.m. meeting Friday. Council voted to reopen most of the island at 10 a.m. The South End is closed to all, pending an assessment for safety by Midway Fire Rescue.

By early afternoon Friday, Sept. 6, the Town of Pawleys Island had lifted its state of emergency from Hurricane Dorian.

People were allowed to return to the North End and middle portions of the island. For the South End, however, property owners were being allowed to return to check on their property, but only by foot.

During a special called meeting at 9 a.m. Friday, Town Council voted to lift its state of emergency, consistent with Gov. Henry McMaster’s ending of mandatory evacuation of the coast.

During the morning meeting, Police Chief Mike Fanning told Council members there were propane tanks actively leaking at several homes in the South End.

In addition, sand was as much as three feet deep on some parts of Springs Avenue.

On Thursday night, when Fanning was doing a “windshield check” of the island, his police vehicle got stuck in that sand. It wasn’t able to be freed until Friday morning.

Midway Fire Rescue, the S.C. Department of Transportation and some oil companies did an assessment of the area Friday. Chief Fanning later told his officers to allow property owners on the South End to go by foot to their property to check on it.

Until the sand is scraped off the streets, however, vehicles won’t be allowed on the South End of the island.

At the morning meeting, Town Council voted to hire Goodson Construction Co. to scrape the sand, because DOT officials had told Town Administrator Ryan Fabbri they couldn’t get to it for a while.

When the Georgetown Times / South Strand News spoke with Fabbri about 2:30 p.m. Friday, he said “DOT has finally stepped up and will do it themselves. They have already mobilized” and had equipment on the island.

As far as how long it will take, Fabbri said “It depends on how many trucks they deploy. It could be just a day or two.”

The sand will be taken to the parking lot at the South End of the island. Once the beach renourishment project gets underway about the first of October, Fabbri said, it will be used as part of the 1.1. million cubic yards of sand for that project.

Fabbri said once the streets are cleared of the sand, he will let property owners know by email, the Town’s Facebook page and Web site.