More than 10 months after Hurricane Matthew swept through the region, Beaufort County has received its first check from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help reimburse local storm cleanup costs.
The $35,000 check “isn’t a very a big one, but it’s the first one — so that’s important,” deputy county administrator Josh Gruber said Friday.
More federal money is expected to flow into county coffers over the next several weeks, he said.
About $12 million in invoices submitted to FEMA by the county have made their way through the agency’s administrative review process and have been approved for reimbursement, Gruber said.
County documents show roughly $35 million has been spent on a variety of storm cleanup efforts such as hauling away fallen trees and removing sunken boats from waterways.
County leaders ultimately expect FEMA to reimburse 75 percent of that total, Gruber said.
The hope is that the remainder of the balance will eventually be paid with funds allocated by state lawmakers for disaster response costs.
The Town of Hilton Head Island, which submitted storm-related invoices to FEMA separately from the county, has also received an initial FEMA reimbursement check of $1.3 million. Hilton Head expects its hurricane cleanup cost to be $65 million.
Town officials expect a total of roughly $37 million in reimbursements from FEMA.