Tropical Storm Irma hit Edisto Beach hard in September 2017. When all was said and done, Palmetto Boulevard—the town’s main commercial artery in the area—was covered in 12,000 cubic yards of sand, as deep as 4 feet in some areas. A team of 61 South Carolina DOT employees were challenged to return this new beachfront back to being the town’s boulevard – and finish the job in days, not weeks. From sunrise to sunset, they pushed the sand into large piles, and the town’s contractor dispersed the piles at night to create a berm on the beach.
After three days of cleaning out the water drainage system, crews piled up the sand off the roadway. The boulevard was cleared in just five days—a miracle, according to the town’s mayor, and completed at a cost of $170,000. This allowed residents and tourists to resume their normal lives and safely navigate around town.