‘We rebuild in this country:’ FEMA agrees to fund Surfside Beach Pier renovations, mayor says

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Surfside Beach is closer to getting a new pier.

Mayor Bob Childs said the Federal Emergency Management Agency agreed to fund $9.5 million for pier renovations.

According to Childs, it's enough money to pay for the pier they've been hoping for.

"It will be a wood decking with concrete so the aesthetics of it will look like a wood pier. So that I think is really exciting," Childs said.

This will be the first concrete pier along the Grand Strand.

"I think that's just really a dream come true for me and for the town of Surfside," said Curtis Kremer, owner of the Pier Shop in Surfside Beach.

Kremer is going on his ninth season at the Pier Shop. He's been through it all, from busy summers to powerful storms like Hurricane Matthew.

"It was devastating to see your livelihood washed away and lying on the beach, but this is America; we rebuild in this country," said Kremer.

Childs said FEMA regulations require the new pier to be 10 feet higher than the old one.

"Ten foot is probably going to be where buildings stand now, 10-foot wood cover them. So the buildings are going to have to be built back. They're old structures and with the new pier we're going to have to rebuild," Childs said.

Kremer said he's known construction could shut him down for a little bit, but he's excited for what's next.

"We are going to be the destination in South Carolina once that is completed because there's no other concrete piers in South Carolina; not just the Grand Strand, but anywhere along this coast," he said.

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