News Article

Belmar Mayor Gets Hurricane Recovery Advice In Mississippi

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
December 27, 2012

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The mayor of one New Jersey town has spent two days this week visiting a Gulf Coast community to examine how to deal with extensive hurricane damage.

Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty traveled to Pass Christian., Mississippi, to see how that town recovered from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The underground sewer system there was hit hard by the storm surge, and they’re still dealing with the damage years later.

Doherty says he’s learned that it’s important to get cameras into Belmar’s underground utility system.

 “To look at rebuilding that and fixing it now while FEMA is still on the ground and have this part of the recovery and rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy and not let it linger for three to five years when you can’t pinpoint that the storm surge was the reason for the problems.”

Doherty says he’s been getting helpful advice about revising building codes and proceeding with projects in a way to get reimbursement from FEMA.

He says Mississippi residents also indicated that recovering from the storm is a lengthy process.

“The folks here are very resilient, and even as things get rebuilt peoples’ memories still look back to when they lost their homes, their community. So as long as the recovery the rebuilding is, psychologically for people it seems like it’s something that’s going to linger.

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