FEMA denies Florida federal assistance after Sandy seriously eroded beaches

$70 million in assistance turned down

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Federal money will not help restore Florida beaches battered by Hurricane Sandy. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is denying a state request for more than $70 million in assistance.

It's not easy for longtime Boynton Beach resident Tom Warnke to see the erosion at Oceanfront Park.

"I moved here when I was eight-years-old, and this is the worst erosion I've ever seen," says Warnke.

An avid surfer and self-proclaimed environmentalist, Warnke knows Mother Nature can be brutal. Beach visitors now have to climb where the erosion is the worst.

Despite hundreds of feet of shoreline swallowed up by Hurricane Sandy, FEMA says it's not enough to constitute federal aid.

"They didn't feel the state couldn't handle it on it's own, and I'm sure that's in light of the billions of dollars worth of damage in the northeast," says Leanne Welch, a Shoreline Program Supervisor with Palm Beach County.

Martin, Indian River, St. Lucie and Palm Beach Counties asked for more than $32 million combined, but were all denied. Welch says they may appeal that decision, but there's also a backup plan.

"We'll have to scale back some of our projects we had planned, maybe not put as much sand out as we had hoped to," says Welch.

Warnke says he understands why FEMA's priority is in the northeast.

"It makes sense considering all the damage up north," says Warnke.

He says local beaches should be a local responsibility.

The state now has 30 days to appeal the FEMA's denial.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments

Read More

Bella: Deceased woman Bella: Deceased woman's will asks for her still-living dog to be buried with her

An Indiana woman who died in November requested in her last will and testament that her dog Bela be buried with her. One problem: Bela is still alive.

Jonathan Warrenfelt, Joshua Zeaya: Facial tattoo, bungled stickup leads cops to robbery suspects Jonathan Warrenfelt, Joshua Zeaya: Facial tattoo, bungled stickup leads cops to robbery suspects

The facial tattoo "Misunderstood" stood out to victims of a robbery at gunpoint in Dania Beach.

Ashley Taylor Wright threw her baby at a deputy at Pensacola Dillards, Okaloosa County police say Ashley Taylor Wright threw her baby at a deputy at Pensacola Dillards, Okaloosa County police say

A Pensacola woman, Ashley Taylor Wright, has been arrested after authorities say they tried arrest her for shoplifting and she threw the baby at a deputy as she tried to escape.

Stephen Amaral robbed while naked swimming woman distracts him Stephen Amaral robbed while naked swimming woman distracts him

A Tennessee man found this out the hard way when a woman dipped in his pool, naked, as her husband robbed his home.

Giant purple chicken stolen in Putnam County, three men charged with grand theft Giant purple chicken stolen in Putnam County, three men charged with grand theft

Putnam County investigators say it was "fowl" play when three young men stole a giant chicken.

Janna Howard faces 43 counts of animal cruelty in ‘worst hoarding case’ in county history Janna Howard faces 43 counts of animal cruelty in ‘worst hoarding case’ in county history

A woman who lived in a home that local authorities in April called the worst hoarding case ever in Palm Beach County is in the county jail today, facing dozens of animal cruelty charges.