We shouldn’t really be surprised that it is taking a long time for FEMA to give our state, and local agencies the money approved for storm recovery. The state just closed the books on Hurricane Hugo in 2006…17 years after the storm.
With the flooding of 2015, and Hurricane Matthew in 2016, there is plenty of damage to be fixed, and paid for. Add in the damage from Irma this year, and the clock seems to keep resetting on us.
It’s been a year since The Investigators first told you about the struggles our local governments are facing.
We checked-in with them again, and the progress is there, but not much of it.
One of the signs of progress, is FEMA made good on a promise to dedicate a team to handle Berkeley County’s case.
Berkeley County officials requested about $17M in federal assistance, and so far they have received $1.2M.
One of the biggest sources of contention is the damage to Cypress Gardens from the flooding of 2015. The county claims $3.8M in damge, but FEMA is only willing to pitch in $300K.
The money isn’t exactly flowing into Charleston County either. The county requested $39M in FEMA assistance for the flooding, and Matthew combined. According to the county, FEMA has only approved $6M, and they have only seen about $1M of that.
The two disasters cost the The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) big time.
They cost the agency $237M. The SCDOT asked the Feds for $144M, and so far they have received $84M.
The costs for Irma are still being tallied and will have to be added to these totals.
FEMA has told us they stand by their process, and the red tape. They say they have a responsibility to be good stewards of taxpayer money, and that they continue to work with state, and local agencies on their cases.
In the meantime, taxpayer money that could go to other projects is being used on storm recovery.