New Jersey Mayor getting lessons from Pass Christian - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

New Jersey Mayor getting lessons from Pass Christian

Matt Doherty, Mayor of Belmar, New Jersey is in Pass Christian consulting with Mayor Chipper McDermott.

Doherty's says his city was ravaged by Hurricane Sandy in late October "It was shocking a devastating. We lost 1.3 miles of boardwalk which is the heart and soul of our town. Once the water came in it did not go back out. We brought in pumps and we're pumping 24 hours a day."

The Mayor is on a fact finding mission of sorts. Belmar's population is similar to Pass Christians. Both are sea side communities and both are trying to bring their cities back from a devastating natural disaster.

Mcdermott's experience after Katrina can be a valuable lesson for Mayor Doherty.

"Everybody thinks things can be done right away. Everybody has an idea and an opinion. You try to get as much input as you can. At some point you have to make decisions and see it through" said McDermott.

One of the most important pieces on the road to recovery is learning how to deal with FEMA. Federal assistance is a critical part of restoring a community and Doherty wants to know about the ups and downs of dealing with a sometimes confusing and frustrating formula from the feds.

Doherty says he's looking forward to learning more about that "Dealing with FEMA and the regulatory bodies is never a simple process. The fact we're able to come here and learn is great."

Mayor Doherty will spend two days in Pass Christian.

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