The mayor of one New Jersey town has spent two days this week visiting a Gulf Coast community to learn how to deal with extensive hurricane damage.
Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty traveled to Pass Christian, Miss., to see how that town recovered from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Pass Christian’s underground sewer system was hit hard by the storm surge, and the community is 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,” he said. “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, that memories of the trauma and damage will linger.