The storm caused major beach erosion on Tybee Island and stripped palm trees of their fronds. Tom Perry of nearby Pooler, Ga., took to the beach armed with a metal detector in hopes that the pounding surf, which left huge bite marks in Tybee Island’s sand dunes, would reveal valuable jewelry or coins lost by beachgoers of decades past.

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Mr. Perry.

Harold Hayman, 72, picked up branches that Irma had scattered on his yard. Mr. Hayman returned from his summer home in Estonia after the storm, expecting to find extensive damage to his property. “We just dodged a bullet,” he said. “It could have been horrendously worse.”

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