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FEMA, State OK $19M In Area Storm Reimbursements

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Dec 18, 2019
FEMA's Public Assistance program and the state have approved nearly $19 million reimbursements for the city of Wilmington and Holden Beach for storm-related work.

The state and FEMA approved $3 million to reimburse the city for debris removal work completed Sept. 20, 2018, through Feb. 23 this year, according to an announcement Wednesday. More than 1.3 million cubic yards of vegetation from Hurricane Florence was collected in Wilmington.

The city has been reimbursed more than $20.5 million for debris removal expenses, having been reimbursed for $17.5 million for debris removal earlier this year.

Of the total paid to the city, FEMA covered $15.3 million while the state covered more than $5.1 million, officials said in the release.

FEMA’s Public Assistance program is a cost-sharing program that reimburses applicants at least 75 percent of eligible costs with 25 percent covered by the state, according to the release. The federal share is paid to the state to disburse to agencies, local governments and private nonprofit organizations that have incurred costs.

In Holden Beach, FEMA and the state approved more than $15.8 million to reimburse expenses to restore Hurricane Florence-related beach damage.

“Holden Beach will replenish with more than 722,000 cubic yards of sand and more than 2,500 square yards of plants damaged during Hurricane Florence,” stated the release.

FEMA’s share for the latest Holden Beach project is more than $11.8 million and the state is covering nearly $4 million, stated the release.

In addition, Holden Beach was approved for $8.5 million earlier this month for damage related to Tropical Storm Michael, which hit the Florida coast as a Category 5 hurricane in October 2018 before it reached North Carolina as a tropical storm.

More than $107 million has been approved to restore North Carolina beaches since the 2018 storms, according to the release. The towns of Emerald Isle, Indian Beach, Pine Knoll Shores and Topsail Beach have been also been approved for beach restoration funding.
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