Creek debris is last target of hurricane cleanup
The last remnants of debris left from Hurricane Ian are due to be removed from Pawleys Creek in the next few weeks. That includes debris that floated beyond the town limits.
“In order for the town to get reimbursement, we had to get a memorandum of agreement; one from Georgetown County, the other from the state,” Town Administrator Dan Newquist said.
Town Council this week approved a $17,000 contract with C-Way Marine Construction for the work. That covers the $11,000 cost of removing two decks that sit in the channel north of the North Causeway and another $1,000 to remove some pilings.
It will cost $5,000 to remove a deck and debris from the causeway and marsh outside the town limits. “Technically, Georgetown County’s portion of the creek,” Newquist said.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency will reimburse 75 percent of the cost, but the agency only allows payments for work local governments do within their own jurisdiction. Newquist said the memorandum with the county will allow the town to do the work on the county’s behalf.
The state Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management set a Dec. 31 deadline for debris removal from waterways following Hurricane Ian, which made landfall on North Island on Sept. 30. The town got an extension to allow C-Way to work into the new year.
The company does work on private docks and, in 2018, elevated the Pawleys Island Chapel. It already has a barge in Pawleys Creek, Newquist said.
The town had trouble finding contractors to do the work, he said. One company that told the town it was interested never responded when asked for a quote.
“We were kind of looking for more potential contractors,” Newquist said, so he contacted C-Way.
The work is expected to take four days.
“Private property owners have traditionally dealt with that,” Mayor Brian Henry said at this week’s meeting.
But the council had previously decided it wouldn’t rely on private property owners to share the cost of cleaning up public property after Ian.
Since the Category 1 storm, the town has removed debris from the beach, including timbers from Pawleys Pier, which lost about half of its 820-foot length. It also pushed up sand along the beach from the pier to an area north of Second Street to rebuild the dune.
The town expects to get a reply in January from the Army Corps of Engineers about replacing sand fence and beach grass that were planted this year as the final phase of a beach renourishment project, Newquist said. Because the area at the south end of the island is part of a Corps project, it isn’t eligible for funding from FEMA.