Federal act might block FEMA aid for Sapelo Island

Slightly recognized federal regulation designed to guard the ecology of barrier islands might deprive descendants of former slaves on Sapelo Island from getting FEMA assist.

The Coastal Barrier Assets Act was handed in 1982 to take away any encouragement to improvement on islands with delicate ecosystems, together with these alongside Georgia’s coast. It did so by forbidding the extension of federal advantages to anybody who lived on the islands.

The Chaffee Act, as it’s referred to as, would reduce the lack of life in areas vulnerable to storm surges and hurricane drive winds, and would scale back the waste of federal assets and shield the pure assets of the islands.

There have been exemptions, nevertheless, for already developed islands together with St. Simons, Jekyll, Sea Island and Tybee.

However there was a mistake, McIntosh County Lawyer Adam Poppell stated, when the exemptions have been put into the act.

“The act didn’t acknowledge that Sapelo Island had residents on it for greater than one hundred years,” Poppell stated.

An extended-time resident stated Irma inflicted some injury in Hog Hammock, a small enclave of personal property on the island that’s in any other case owned by Georgia.

“We had some damages,” stated Cornelia Bailey, a life-lengthy resident who supplies lodging and conducts excursions of the island. “Water went via peoples homes. St. Luke’s Church had water in it.”

Hog Hammock’s solely comfort retailer was additionally flooded, she stated.

Bailey stated her enterprise and residential escaped injury and that there was no one left on the island for Irma to injure.

“Everyone left the island,” Bailey stated. “We left for Matthew, and we left once more this time.”

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