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No Easy Fixes for Cemetery Damage

By Charlotte Smith

Last week, after the waters receded from Hurricane Florence, major geological damage was assessed at the Elizabethtown City Cemetery. Pat DeVane, Assistant Town Manager with the Town of Elizabethtown, gave an update on the issue.

DeVane said, “It can’t be fixed easily and without a plan.”

DeVane explained the town did receive a response from the North Carolina Cemetery Commission in response to the town’s request for assistance with the cemetery last week.

Nathan Morris, Administrative Assistant with the NC Cemetery Commission, replied to the request for assistance in an email stating, “Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do. Even if it were a public, perpetual care cemetery we regulated, there’s nothing in our statutes that speaks to matters of this nature.”

Morris continued, “We aren’t aware of any grant or recovery assistance programs that might assist you. It should probably be taken up with FEMA and anyone else who offers assistance to cities and towns with hurricane relief related to city property damage.”

DeVane is confident the geological damage at the cemetery can be fixed. He said, “I know people have their loved ones buried there and are concerned about the damage and I am just as concerned.”

The town has scheduled an engineer to come out and access the damage at the cemetery and give recommendations.  DeVane said they would be willing to work with Go Gas, a local business in close proximity to  the cemetery, who also reported hiring an engineer to investigate the soil damage.

DeVane asks for citizens to be patient with the Town as they work toward solutions. The restoration process will take planning and consultations from experts.

DeVane said, “We will figure it out; I’m sure.

View video of damage:

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