Wilmington City Council gets hurricane recovery update

View The Original Article Here
City of Wilmington collected debris from Hurricane Florence. (Photo: Twitter)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Five months after Hurricane Florence ripped through the Cape Fear Region, Wilmington City Council members got an update from staff on recovery efforts.

Director Of Public Services Dave Mayes presented an update on different projects in the city during an agenda briefing Monday morning.

– Advertisement –

Mayes said contractors are in the final stages of storm debris cleanup of grinding all of the vegetative debris. He said it should all be completed by the end of February.

Mayes said contractors collected 1,328,387 cubic yard of vegetative debris. They collected 787 dangerous trees, 15,366 dangerous limbs, and 78 stumps.

Mayes said FEMA representatives completed inspections of sidewalks on Jan. 11. He said there are 55 damaged locations that are approved for reimbursement and the total cost estimate is $90,000.

Mayes said FEMA completed inspections on streets and drainage at the end of January. He said there are 83 locations that are approved for reimbursement.

Mayes said there are 51 buildings that have varying degrees of damage. He said 11 locations have 100% repaired, 23 locations in progress and 17 locations that have not been started. He said that total damage cost is estimated at $3.7 million.

Mayes said 63 parks had vegetative debris. He said 25 locations had amenity damages such as benches and fences. Mayes said two are 100% complete and 23 are in progress. He said the primary thing damaged in parks is fencing.

Staff said the total funding for recovery is $29,270,704. The estimated expenses are $31,883,530. The total expenses submitted to FEMA so far is $19,426,500.

Staff said so far they have not received any reimbursement from FEMA.

City staff explained there has been some delay while working with the state and FEMA. Staff said FEMA is saying they can accept tickets and requests electronically, but then the state is saying that is not allowed and they need the actual tickets.

Mayor Bill Saffo said it has been a frustrating process. Saffo said what city staff is dealing with is crazy.

“We’re dealing with it. Florida is dealing with it and the west coast is dealing with it. We hear from different people who tell us different things,” Saffo said. “We should be able to testify in front of congress about what is going on.”