MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Crews continued surveying damage and cleaning up along the Grand Strand on Sunday after Hurricane Ian made landfall Friday near Georgetown as a Category 1 hurricane.

Fewer than 500 Santee Cooper customers on the Grand Strand remained without power Sunday morning, according to the utility’s online outage map. Power was out to more than 41,000 customers at the peak of the storm, but that number fell to about 6,000 late Saturday morning.

On Saturday, the company said 18 of its crews and 25 external crews were working 16-hour shifts to restore service. The company estimates overall restoration by Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Duke Energy said Sunday that service has been restored to nearly all of its customers in the Carolinas. Fwer than 25,000 customers – almost all of them in North Carolina – remained without power as of 11:30 a.m. 

The utility said it expects to have service to most of its remaining customers by midnight Sunday.

Photo: Horry County Police Department

Meanwhile, as cleanup continued Sunday across the Grand Strand, Horry County officials said Sunday officials said crews were making good progress in the hard-it Garden City area. As of 6:30 p.m., a portion of North Waccamaw Drive was reopened from Melody Lane to Cypress Avenue.

“Please drive carefully—HCPD and Horry County Government Public Works crews are still working in the area,” the county said in a Facebook post. “Keep your speed low, and watch for any pedestrians or roadway hazards. Road closures along the southern portion of Waccamaw Drive remain in effect.”

In North Myrtle Beach, officials said Sunday that city leaders met with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and served storm damage.

Mayor Marilyn Hatley, city council members and City Manager Mike Mahaney met with Maj. Gen. William Graham of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Lt. Col. Andrew Johannes, commander of the corps’ Charleston district. They examined major beach erosion, the destruction of sand dunes and damage to the Cherry Grove and Sea Cabin piers. Debris from the piers remains on the beach. 

The city said Saturday that officials had begun looking at the damage to compile reports for state and federal officials. Officials also continued to urge people to stay out of the water because of the danger of floating debris.

In Pawleys Island, officials also continued surveying damage and cleaning up after the storm on Sunday, and late in the afternoon police said that all of the island’s road’s had been reopened to homeowners and designated contractors. The causeways are expected to be open to regular traffic at 8 a.m. on Monday.

Police also said that the county lot will remain closed until further notice and that telephone and internet had been restored.

Earlier Sunday, police said on Twitter that damage to the south end parking lot had left it inaccessible. The town said debris and sand from Springs Avenue are being moved there and that “it may be a while before it is accessible again.”

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, state Department of Transportation Secretary Christy Hall and town officials toured the island on Saturday to inspect the damage.

The state DOT helped clean debris off the roads on Saturday, and police reopened the North Causeway at 10 a.m. for homeowners and contractors only, and residents were asked to bring some type of documentation of ownership. The South Causeway remained closed.

In Myrtle Beach, crews began putting together plans on Saturday to remove a boat that washed ashore during the storm while also focusing on “inspecting and removing” debris from the beach.

In a Facebook post, the city said crews were “removing dangerous barbs from the remaining sand fences and clearing beach accesses.”

The city also said the estimated storm surge of four to five feet Friday afternoon knocked out most of the fence and generally flattened the beach near the city’s boardwalk.

In Surfside Beach, town officials said there does not appear to be any structural damage to the pier, which is in the process of being rebuilt after being destroyed during Hurricane Matthews in 2016. There was some damage to the construction trestle and sand covering equipment, officials said.

Town officials said they have gotten reports of people trespassing on the pier site and asked everyone to stay away while the cleanup is going on.

“This cannot be stressed enough, do not walk on, around, or under the pier,” the town said in a news release. “There may be equipment or material buried under the sand that if someone falls or steps on could cause serious injury.”

The town also said workers would be out all weekend cleaning up debris, which will be piled up along rights-of-way to be removed later.

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