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Carteret Gets $18M to Restore Beaches

CARTERET COUNTY – With the Sept. 13 announcement that more than $18 million will go to reimburse expenses restoring beaches damaged during Hurricane Florence, the county Shore Protection Office is “ready to hit the sand running” said manager Greg “Rudi” Rudolph.

The plants at this Indian Beach public access were installed as part of Phase I three months before this photo was taken Aug. 13. Photo: Carteret County Shoreline Protection Office

Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state announced Friday that the funds reimburse nourishing sand and replacing plants on Indian Beach and Pine Knoll Shores beaches following damage from Hurricane Florence’s storm surge.

Nearly 830,000 cubic yards of sand, or about eight times the amount of concrete in Bank of America stadium, will be used to restore the beaches and more than 168,000 square yards of plants, which would cover nearly 35 acres, will be planted.

FEMA’s share of the project is nearly $14 million and the state will cover more than $4.6 million. FEMA’s Public Assistance program, a cost-sharing program, provides grants for state and local governments as well as certain nonprofit organizations to reimburse the cost of debris removal, emergency protective measures and permanent repair work. FEMA reimburses applicants at least 75% of eligible costs, and the remaining 25% is covered by the state. The federal share is paid directly to the state, which disburses the funds.

Rudolph told Coastal Review Online that the release of FEMA funding is very timely.

“We constructed Phase I of our Post-Florence Nourishment Project along East Emerald isle and Indian Beach/Salter Path (County) this past spring, and have a bid opening scheduled for this Friday for Phase II, which is twice the size of the Phase I effort both geographically and volume wise encompassing West Atlantic Beach, Pine Knoll Shores, Salter Path (State), and a portion of West Emerald Isle,” he wrote in an email.

“Fortunately we have been working diligently on our permits and authorizations for beach nourishment before Florence passed by so we were ready to hit the sand running and also had a healthy amount in our beach nourishment reserve, which is endowed by 50% of the County’s occupancy tax collection,” Rudolph continued. “Cash flow was certainly becoming a concern, so again the release of FEMA funding is really going to provide the type of assistance we need to properly restore dunes and replace the volume of sand that was on the beach and was swept out to sea by Florence.”

Learn more about Phase I and Phase II, which is on the agenda of the Carteret County Beach Commission meeting set for 2 p.m. Monday in Pine Knoll Shores town hall, on the Carteret County Shore Protection Office website.

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.