So, Tybee made it through Hurricane Matthew with a slightly bruised exterior, but her heart remains beating strong. She lost some dunes and frills, but now she is fresh, bright and clear. The wind blew and blew, but could not rock the core of this little island jewel. We experienced many downed trees, missing roofs, windows blown out by sheer wind pressure, flooding, and no access to the island for days. Tidal flooding also occurred with the excess rain water and full moon making the road to Tybee flood during high tide.
Some of our staff went many days without showering as we had no power. Some places had unsafe water conditions from contamination and we were required to boil our water for a bit there to ensure its safety for drinking. People came home to their homes to find trees in their living rooms and inches of water on their floor. A sense of community like never before, was formed. And without power, children were playing outside like it was the 90’s again. This experience was very humbling and makes us all thankful for every day we are given and everything that we have. We didn’t focus on what we didn’t have, but on what we could do to help our community and neighbors.
Once back at work, our housekeeping and maintenance began to access the situation at over 100 properties and began repairs and cleaning. The office staff had to first evacuate guests who were staying and then later focus on moving several people that would not be able to stay in their original choices once the storm had passed. Several of our owners thanked us all with lunches throughout the week and we were all so very grateful! While we normally don’t get hurricanes along the coast here, every 100 years a big storm will pass through.
The North Beach parking lot is still blocked as this is the gathering spot for island debris from the storm. I saw the amount today and was astonished at the volume of downed trees and limbs that have accumulated. At the Savannah Beach & Racquet Club and Beachside Colony, there was lots of damage and the complexes are still closed. We hope that repairs are made and that everything will be back to normal soon. Most of all, we are just thankful to have our island to come back to!