EMERALD ISLE — Carteret County’s plan for a major Bogue Banks beach nourishment project to begin in November was bolstered financially Friday when the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced it approved $18 million in reimbursement money for the cost of replacing sand lost during Hurricane Florence last September.

In a news release, FEMA stated, “The funds reimburse nourishing sand and replacing plants at beaches located in the towns of Indian Beach and Pine Knoll Shores following damage from Hurricane Florence’s storm surge.

“The towns will restore beaches with nearly 830,000 cubic yards of sand and more than 168,000 square yards of plants,” the release added. “The sand equals more than eight times the amount of concrete in Bank of America Stadium (the Carolina Panthers’ home in Charlotte) and the volume of plants covers nearly 35 acres.”

FEMA’s Public Assistance Program is cost-shared, with the federal government covering 75% of eligible costs while the state picks up the remaining 25%.

Of the $18 million, FEMA will pay nearly $14 million and the state will kick in more than $4.6 million, according to the release.

Greg Rudolph, manager of the Carteret County Shore Protection Office, said Friday he was “tickled pink” by the FEMA announcement, which will make it much easier to afford the planned November project, which involves about 9.5 miles of beach and about 1.86 million cubic yards of sand, including 439,500 cubic yards for western Atlantic Beach, 956,000 cubic yards for Pine Knoll Shores, 116,600 cubic yards for Salter Path and 345,103 cubic yards for Emerald Isle.

Pine Knoll Shores is to receive about $10 million from FEMA, he said, and Salter Path/Indian Beach is to get about $7.7 million.

Still to come, Mr. Rudolph noted, is potentially as much as $43 million in FEMA and state money to reimburse the cost of sand lost in Emerald Isle during Florence.

“Because Emerald Isle’s request is more than $25 million, it got kicked into a secondary review,” he said. “We should know about that within about a month.”

The county went out for bids on the November project in late August and held a bid opening earlier this month. Only two bids were received, however, and three are required before they can be opened. Mr. Rudolph said Friday he hopes the two bidders, Weeks Marine of New Jersey and Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. of Illinois, will both resubmit bids.

The delay shouldn’t affect the timing of the project, Mr. Rudolph added, because federal rules to protect sea turtles, especially during their nesting and hatching season, prohibit the work until Saturday, Nov. 16.

The county is coordinating the project in a similar fashion to the last nourishment project, completed this spring in eastern Emerald Isle, all of Indian Beach and almost all of Salter Path, by Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co.

Like the spring project, this time around there will be a composite unit rate – the same price for each cubic yard across all sections of the project – and each town will have its own individual contract with the dredging company.

The project is to be paid for with a combination of town, county and state funds. The towns will pay based on their shares of the total amount of sand received.

The county’s share of the cost would come from the beach nourishment fund, which gets half the proceeds of the county’s occupancy tax. As of Friday, Mr. Rudolph said, that fund stands at about $12 million, so the FEMA money should provide a cushion as efforts move forward.

The county also expects to receive $15.3 million of the $18 million the state set aside last year to help local governments with beach nourishment projects after Hurricane Florence hit in September 2018.

The project completed on Bogue Banks this spring cost about $20.1 million. That one involved 5.2 miles of beach and resulted in about 975,000 cubic yards of sand being dredged up offshore of Atlantic Beach and placed on the strand.

Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email Brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.

(15) comments

David Collins

What a total waste !


ezbreeze

Hard to fathom this wasteful use of tax money. Like, doesn't FEMA have enough wreckage to spend money on?! How about helping people in Newport, New Bern, Morehead City get well without going in great debt, rather than battling Mother Nature. (Who doesn't thing that fight is a losing battle?) Any conservative that supports or works for beach re-nourishment is a hypocrite.


chainsaw

What a waste. Just think how many miles of donny baby border fence that could be built with that 18 million. Maybe 2 miles?


David Collins

I would take the 2 miles of border fencing any day . Beach nourishment is welfare for the Reality industry and provides no security , other than financial for a very few , for the country .


Core Sounder

Welfare for the rich, typical example. Then again what do we expect when he/she who has the gold makes the rules. Supply side economics my friends. The rich get richer and hopefully some of it will eventually filter down to those of us that are barely making a living.


JMEI

It's not welfare for the rich. It's an acknowledgement that tourism is the economic engine that drives the SOBX economy. Without healthy, nourished beaches there is no tourism. It's about thousand upon thousands of jobs and a prosperous economy for a lot of working class people.


ezbreeze

JMEI WRONG. There will always be a beach and therefore tourism. The beach might not be in the some place but there will always be an oceanfront.


Core Sounder

Think that the outer banks on NC will always have beaches whether we pile more sand on them or not. Do not feel that taxpayers in general should bear the burden of providing nice sandy beaches for those that unwisely choose to build expensive homes on those beaches.


David Collins

Not exactly welfare for the rich but certainly misguided. There will always be a beach. Not your biggest nightmare of a storm will ever eliminate the beach. That is a tourist industry myth. One has only to look at the outer banks to realize that those beaches have been around since man had eyes. These barrier islands are the same. Just a total farce and the politicians have bought into it, hook, line and sinker. No pun intended. It is all about protecting structures that never should have been built there . Built there and expected to survive a shifting environment, albeit with a little help from their friends. Friends in all the right places. Hopefully enough folks will wake up and put pressure on the powers, on up high, to change their ways. The tourists will still come and money will be spent. So what will change?


JusticeForAll

Looks like storms just relocate sand. And should we stand in the way of sand that wishes for a better life on the other side of the surf?


CARTERETISCORRUPT

The rich will always use our money to their benefit. Tax money is just monopoly money to them. Crow all you want, nothing will change.


Serious Inquiry

How can I contact you?




Serious Inquiry

Carteretiscorrupt, need to speak. POC info please




Serious Inquiry

Carteretiscorrupt I read a comment of yours on a previous article. How do I find you? Just like my name, this is a serious inquiry. I need some help and your comment in an article.... you can help me. I am to the point of desperation obviously since I'm posting on here for help.




Newport Style

Rich get what they want, especially when the guys signing the paperwork to get the money have beach houses on the beach where the sand is going. Complete waste... and I agree with CCorrupt, nothing we can do about it.


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