Harrison County Turns To FEMA For Help - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/11/02

Harrison County Turns To FEMA For Help

Most of the damage from back to back storms is to Harrison County's 26 miles of beach. Sections of the Jim Simpson pier in Long Beach are washed away. It is the only pier the county maintains. Beach director Bobby Weaver expects it will take $140,000 to repair.

Sand and debris are piled all along the beach. FEMA has commited to pay to get rid of it.

"It's just a matter of us getting a proposal that they're satisfied with, getting prices in and then signing a contract with that successful contractor," says Beach Director Bobby Weaver.

The huge piles of sand and debris are obvious signs of storm damage. But Weaver also hopes FEMA will pay to repair some things that aren't so obvious. For example, at Courthouse Road the sidewalk is caving in.

"Right where we're at is a location where we've got some erosion underneath the sidewalk and the sidewalks undermine and fall down so we're gonna have to make some repairs here. Equipment ramp, we've had some damage there. Some of the overflow pipe, we've got damage associated with that so there's a bunch of small projects throughout the entire beach."

Weaver figures repairs will carry a hefty price tag. 

"Debris removal, emergency efforts during the two storm events, everything combined we're lookin' at approximately five million dollars," he says.

FEMA representatives will use the county's estimates and detailed damage descriptions to help.  

"We'll take their information, we'll put it on project worksheets and we come back and enter it on our computers and like I said most projects go through with no problems and then we obligate the money to the state of Mississippi who in turn channels the money down to the applicants," says Federal Coordinating Officer, Mike Bolch. 

Harrison County expects to hand over its damage reports to FEMA within two weeks.

The damage to 30 county roads is estimated at more than $75,000.  The sheriff's department is still adding up overtime costs. So far, the figure stands at more than $40,000.   

By: Marcia Hill

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