Florence clean up efforts ongoing

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Hurricane Florence left extensive damage.
As recovery continues, the debris sites are almost all empty. Wilmington picked up 1.3 million cubic yards which is enough to fill the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool at least 35 times.

“We’ve definitely had to fork out a lot of money,” said Dylan Lee, Spokesman for the City of Wilmington.

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The City of Wilmington spent $22 million on Hurricane Florence debris removal. New Hanover County spent around $20 million picking up a sizable amount of debris outside of the city limits.

“You’re tractor trailer that you see going down the road carries about 100 cubic yards so we had enough debris in the unincorporated areas of the county to fill 13,000 of those,” said Kate Murphy, New Hanover County Spokeswoman.

If you line those tractor trailers up, they would nearly stretch from Wilmington to Charlotte. Now, reimbursements are staring to come in. Just last week, New Hanover County received $9.5 million from FEMA.

“During debris removal, FEMA provided monitoring of that process to essentially take stock and count of debris related to Hurricane Florence for reimbursement later,” said Murphy.

Lee says the city is eligible for at least 75% reimbursement from FEMA.

“We also had to hire a monitoring company to make sure that however much debris was in a truck that they said was in a truck was actually in the truck,” said Lee.

He says Hurricane Florence left more debris in Wilmington than any other previous hurricane. The city set up four dumping sites across the city for debris.

“One of those sites on Oleander Drive is in the process of getting cleaned up,” said Lee. “The huge debris piles that were there are almost gone now.”

Wilmington jumped to action right after the hurricane cleaning up debris, but the process isn’t over yet. The city is continuing to work with the state to get additional funding reimbursed.