Nearly $60 million approved for 2018 storm-related NC beach projects

Published 7:13 pm Friday, December 6, 2019

DURHAM — The State of North Carolina and FEMA are announcing more than $54.9 million to reimburse expenses to restore hurricane- and tropical storm-related beach damage.

The funds include reimbursing the replacement of sand and plants on public beaches in the towns of Emerald Isle and Holden Beach. Storm surges from Hurricane Florence and Tropical Storm Michael damaged beaches in the coastal communities.

Emerald Isle will replenish with more than 2 million cubic yards of sand and more than 377,000 square yards of plants damaged during Hurricane Florence. The sand equals more than 20 times the amount of concrete in Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium and the volume of plants covers 78 acres.

Additionally, Holden Beach will replenish more than 389,000 cubic yards of sand damaged during Tropical Storm Michael.

FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides grants for state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations to reimburse the cost of debris removal, emergency protective measures and permanent repair work.

Public assistance is a cost-sharing program. FEMA reimburses applicants at least 75% of eligible costs, and the remaining 25% is covered by the state. The federal share is paid directly to the state, which disburses funds to agencies, local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations that incurred costs.

FEMA’s combined share for the Emerald Isle and Holden Beach projects is more than $41.2 million and the state’s share is more than $13.7 million.

The state and FEMA have approved more than $72 million to restore North Carolina beaches since the 2018 storms. In September 2019, more than $18 million was approved to restore beaches in the towns of Indian Beach and Pine Knoll Shores.

For more information on North Carolina’s recovery from Hurricane Florence, visit and Follow us on Twitter: @NCEmergency and @FEMARegion4.