Surfside Beach waits on answers from FEMA for pier restoration

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WBTW) - Surfside Beach Administrator, Micki Fellner, said she still doesn't have answers from FEMA as it relates to the pier.

"Region 4 FEMA has escalated all decisions regarding the funding scope of our pier," said Fellner at the Surfside Beach Town Council meeting on Tuesday night.

FEMA originally offered the town $5.6 million to fix the pier but town staff said they wanted more money and wanted the proposal to include hazard mitigation.

Fellner said the issue now sits with FEMA headquarters.

"It's very frustrating," said Mayor Bob Childs. "Every time we're told 'next week,' and then it's 'next week' and the 'next week,' never seems to get here. But we seem to be, from what we've been told, this time it's at the very top and there's no place else it can go."

Half of the all-wood pier was damaged in Hurricane Matthew and in the summer of 2017, council decided it wants to rebuild the pier with concrete.

"We feel that by having a concrete pier, we are really doing a good job by not having to have FEMA come back every year," said Mayor Bob Childs. "Because we could build a wood pier and next year it could be destroyed so we're really fighting for to get this concrete pier and I don't want to throw in the towel yet."

Council has no expected date of when FEMA may provide an answer to additional funding.

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