Wilmington faces over $31 million in Florence-related expenses, waiting for FEMA reimbursement

Wilmington faces over $31 million in Florence-related expenses, waiting for FEMA reimbursement

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The City of Wilmington is facing estimated expenses in excess of $31 million due to Hurricane Florence as it waits for reimbursements from FEMA.

At the city council’s agenda meeting Monday, Finance Director Jennifer Maready gave council members a financial update five months after the storm.

Maready presented a breakdown of the estimated expenses as well as the city’s current funding resources (both can be found below).

To date, the city has not received any reimbursement from FEMA.

“As of this morning, we have submitted invoices for our contracted debris of over $19 million,” Maready said.

City staff said Monday that they received a call last Friday stating that they should get a reimbursement check “soon” for some of the contracted debris expenses.

The city also has requested FEMA inspections for Fire Stations 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 15, along with the Fire Training Academy, DREAMS of Wilmington and the Railroad Museum.

Maready said departments are being asked to help cover some storm expenses in their current budget while the city awaits FEMA reimbursements.

Estimated expenses

Employee storm work bonus pay $654,614

Contracted debris removal $21,919,416

Force account debris removal $500,000

Emergency protective measures $1.1 million

Storm drains/streets and sidewalks $2,932,000

Greenfield Lake Dam breach $150,000

Buildings/equipment $4.5 million

Parks & Recreation $127,500

Total $31,883,530

Current funding resources for the city:

Loan from Debt Service Fund Balance $13 million

Appropriation from General Fund $11,861,063

Insurance proceeds $109,641

Storm Water Fund estimate $2.8 million

Convention Center Fund estimate $1.5 million

Total $29,270,704

Update on storm recovery in Wilmington

Director of Public Services Dave Mayes also updated council members on the current status of damage recovery in the city.

Storm debris pickup

Crews are in the closing stages of storm debris cleanup.

More than 1.3 million cubic yards of vegetative debris has been picked up along with more than 37,000 cubic yards of construction and demolition debris.

Crews also took down more than 787 “dangerous trees” and more than more 15,000 “dangerous limbs.”

Sidewalk damage

FEMA completed its inspection of 55 locations of sidewalk damage in Wilmington on Jan. 11 and the city will be reimbursed for the cost of those repairs.

City staff estimates the cost to fix the sidewalks at approximately $90,000.

Storm drainage and street damage

FEMA completed its inspections of damaged streets in the Port City at the end of January.

A total of 83 separate locations have been approved for reimbursement.

Building damage

City buildings suffered an estimated total of $3.7 million in damage as 51 locations were affected by the hurricane.

City staff said that 11 locations have been completely repaired while repairs are underway at 23 buildings.

No repairs have been made at 17 locations.

Mayes said that FEMA inspections are in the early stages.

Park damage

Mayes said that 63 park locations had vegetative debris and about 90 percent of it has been removed.

Amenities like park benches and fencing were damaged at 25 parks in the city.

Repairs have been completed at two parks while work is underway at the other 23.

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