Surf City, FEMA at odds on state of restoring beaches after hurricane

Surf City, FEMA at odds on state of restoring beaches after hurricane

SURF CITY, NC (WECT) - FEMA is pushing back on claims from the Town of Surf City that it is "not protecting its citizens’ best interests” when it comes to restoring the beaches of the Pender County community in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

Ashley Loftis, Surf City town manager, said Monday, “Our citizens felt this way when they saw that only certain homes were classified as imminent critical.”

The town sent out a news release conveying its frustration with FEMA over the weekend. The release said town leaders are moving forward in hauling sand to areas considered “imminent critical areas” by FEMA and non-critical areas will receive a sand push. Town leaders are advertising for bids for the sand projects.

John Mills with FEMA external affairs responded to that release Monday.

“FEMA does not identify any areas as ‘imminent critical areas,’” Mills said, who added the agency has reached out to get detailed information from the town as to its emergency sand berm needs and will work with the community once it gets required documentation.

Loftis said FEMA told the town the entire beach would not receive reimbursement, only the areas that were classified as critical.

FEMA says it is committed to working with local communities to receive every dollar they are eligible to receive.

The town’s release said local leaders are trying to be proactive by getting sand in place now while working ahead toward a 2020 beach renourishment project.

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