Can the Lowcountry afford another hurricane?

BEAUFORT, Sc. (WSAV) – Hurricane Matthew caused hundreds of millions in damage throughout the Lowcountry, and now with Irma looming, the question is – can any town or city afford another storm?

“We had flooded roads, a lot of that was from ditch maintenance, lack of, and just overwhelmed storm water drains – so yes, we are taking this very seriously,” said Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka.

Taking preparations seriously, but another thing to take serious is the money.

“What would it mean to have done so well last year, only to be caught flat footed this year… we just we won’t do that,” said Hilton Head Town Manager Steve Riley.

$46 million in damage on Hilton Head and $40 million in Beaufort County … it’s now 11 months later…

“Our pumps have all been repaired, and they’re all back in place, and they’re all operational,” said Riley.

Fractions of the costs have been reimbursed, but not all. So far Hilton Head has received $12.5 million from FEMA and Beaufort County’s received $13 million.

With the possibility of Irma following Matthew’s path, officials say not to worry. Hilton Head has borrowed $20 million and Beaufort County has borrowed $35, just in case.

“We’ll have the resources to deal with this. I’m hoping we don’t have to, but we will have the resources,” Riley said.

Bluffton spent a total of about on $73,000 on recovery and the assistant town manager says they’re confident they won’t need to borrow money if another hurricane were to hit.

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