Brunswick County still waits for disaster declaration 7 weeks after Isaias

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Some pathways remain closed at Brunswick Town Historic Site due to Isaias damage

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Brunswick County still waits for a federal disaster declaration seven weeks after Hurricane Isaias made landfall in Ocean Isle Beach.

The Brunswick Town Historic Site can’t finish its storm cleanup because they need better equipment and funding before work is done.

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“We’ve got about 50 trees that are either down or have to come down and with that we’re going to need funding,” Site Director Jim McKee said.

The county’s Emergency Services Director Edward Conrow says it’s a lengthy process of assessing damage, but the reports have made it to the state level and have been submitted to FEMA for approval.

Conrow says the numbers took a little bit longer to gather because the storm impacted a relatively smaller area, in comparison to storms like Hurricane Florence.

“We didn’t want our declaration or our request just to be simply off of the sand that we’d have to replenish because there was a chance that we could get kickback,” Conrow said. “So we were making sure we fine tune our numbers and made sure that we had good numbers that we can stand by on debris removal, utilities and infrastructure damage and then added the sand after the fact.”

He says the beach renourishment adds another layer of complexity because of CAMA permits.

The county and several municipalities have activated debris removal contracts and could be reimbursed after the disaster declaration.

In the meantime, Brunswick Town Site Director Jim McKee says their goal is to keep visitors safe.

“You’ll see a couple of areas roped off because of what we call ‘widow-makers.’ Some of the trees that we’ve cut but haven’t picked up is a simple matter of our equipment is shot,” McKee said.

The Brunswick Town Historic Site is open to visitors, but McKee recommends visitors not venture off the path when exploring the grounds.