Tuesday, August 9, 2022

FEMA approves $18 million for beach repairs at Topsail Beach

Visitors from Pittsburgh gather on the Banks Channel-side of Topsail Beach in the early fall. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Visitors from Pittsburgh gather on the Banks Channel-side of Topsail Beach in the early fall. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)

TOPSAIL BEACH — The southernmost town of Topsail Island has received more than $18.8 million from federal and state funds to restore its beach from damages inflicted by Hurricane Florence.

Storm surges from Florence in September 2018 significantly damaged the beach and dunes of Topsail Beach.

RELATED: Surf CIty’s fight with FEMA, state regulations to repair sand dunes

The island town will replenish more than 939,000 cubic yards of sand lost during Hurricane Florence, according to a FEMA release, equaling more than nine times the amount of concrete in Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium.

The announced funding comes as Surf City, located directly north of the town on Topsail Island, is still struggling to get a commitment from FEMA to restore its own damaged dunes and beaches.

FEMA will pay the majority of the funds, more than $14.1 million, while the state will cover the remaining $4.7 million.

FEMA and North Carolina have approved more than $90 million to restore the state’s beaches since the 2018 hurricanes of Florence and Michael passed through the state.

More than $54 million was approved earlier this month to restore beaches at Emerald Isle to the north and Holden Beach to the south. In September, more than $18 million was signed off for beach restoration work at Indian Beach and Pine Knoll Shores, which sit beside Emerald Isle on Bogue Banks Island.

The funds come from FEMA’s Public Assistance cost-sharing program. FEMA reimburses applicants at least 75 percent of eligible costs while 25 percent is covered by the state. The federal share is paid directly to the state, which disburses funds to agencies, local governments, and various private nonprofit organizations.


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