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Cleanup from Matthew a daunting task
Ft. McAllister Road
This scene on Fort McAllister Road gives an example of downed trees leaning on power lines and causing them to droop dangerously close to the ground. - photo by Ted O'Neil

The amount of damaged trees and other debris left behind by Hurricane Matthew across Bryan County could take weeks to clean up for those who stayed as well as those who will return once the all clear is given.

"I was a little surprised when I woke up," said Scott Moore as he worked to gather debris in his yard in the Strathy Hall subdivision. Two large trees in his yard were snapped in two, although neither hit his house. "I went to bed around 1 a.m. and figured whatever would happen would happen."

Moore though has concerns far beyond his own house. His wife owns Moore Properties, which has rentals all over South Bryan County.

"I went and checked on the ones in the county but the city won't let me in," he said. "We've got about 50 houses and I have no idea what shape they are in."

All of Bryan County is under a mandatory curfew until further notice and all businesses are closed.

Gene Ball of Clyde's Market at Ford Avenue and U.S. 17 said he had planned to stay open until Friday evening, but the parent company decided to close all locations at noon. He was on hand Saturday provide gas and food to first responders but could not do business with the general public.

"I stood here Friday night and watched the driving rain, but I don't think we got it as bad as the surrounding counties," Ball said. "The good Lord has looked over this community many times."

Several roads, including Timber Trail, Highway 144 and Fort McAllister Road, remained impassable or reduced to one lane in some areas, with trees leaning on power lines causing them to hang dangerously close to the ground. Other locations were problematic due to power lines laying across streets. 

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