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Despite being slammed by hurricane, Pawleys is cleaning up and back open to the public

Days after Hurricane Ian made a second landfall in nearby Georgetown, the historic island of Pawleys Island has reopened, even as cleanup continues.

In fact, just 24 hours after Ian blew through South Carolina, electricity and water were fully restored for Pawleys Island.

Still, cleanup from the Category 1 hurricane continues on the island, after Ian unleashed a surge of seawater over the barrier island and ripped off part of the Pawleys Island pier.

The pier, which is only accessible to owners and renters at Pawleys Pier Village, is, nevertheless, a landmark sight on the historic island. The pier was also damaged during Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

Anyone who has an accommodations reservation on Pawleys Island should contact his or her rental agency to check on the status of the property. Some homes sustained damaged during the storm; others did not.

Pawleys Island is part of Georgetown County, an area known as South Carolina’s Hammock Coast. The hurricane left various levels of damage throughout the county.

Georgetown, the historic county seat, is where Ian officially made landfall at around 2 o’clock Friday, Sept. 30, but the city was back in business on Saturday, Oct. 1, and welcoming visitors back to its historic streets.

In other parts of the Hammock Coast, the county’s famed beach communities are still, like Pawleys, working on cleanup efforts.

DeBordieu Colony, south of Pawleys near Georgetown, and neighboring Litchfield Beach, immediately north of Pawleys, both suffered damage from Ian’s brutal wind and tidal surge.

Further north in Murrells Inlet, Huntington Beach State Park remains closed, as of Monday, Oct. 3, but is expected to open again in the coming days.

All eight of the member restaurants along the MarshWalk in Murrells Inlet are opening for business, but portions of the famed 1/2-mile boardwalk are closed until inspections are completed.

On the far northern end of the Hammock Coast, southern Garden City continues a hard cleanup effort after sand and water inundated streets in parts of the community.

Beach access in all areas of the Hammock Coast may be limited, as some beach access walkways were damaged from the ocean surge.

Pawleys Island has long been known for its resiliency, surviving devastating hits by Hurricane Hazel in 1954 and Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Those storms were far more destructive than Hurricane Ian, but, even still, Pawleys Island rebuilt. Post-Ian is certainly no exception.

All of the famed golf courses on the Hammock Coast are open. Mainland Pawleys Island is home of some of the best golf courses in the nation.

Area attractions such as Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet and Hobcaw Barony and Hopsewee Plantation, both near Georgetown, are open and welcoming guests, as are other attractions on the Hammock Coast.

The Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art kicks off for its 31st year on Friday, Oct. 6, with its celebrated Wine and Food Gala with a series of concerts taking place through Oct. 22. Details can be found by clicking here.

The Pawleys Island community is strong, and even as cleanup continues, the strength and love is evident.

— By Mark A. Stevens, director of tourism development for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce