As residents return to their homes, cleanup efforts have ramped up and Liberty County Emergency Management Director Mike Hodges said that has opened the door for those looking to scam the public.
“There apparently is a white SUV moving around the county marked with FEMA markings and they are telling people and contractors that they can bring the debris out to the road,” Hodges said describing calls he has received about a scam artist. “We are actively hunting that vehicle now.”
Hodges said it was imperative that homeowners around the county were made aware that removing debris from their property was their responsibility. Those looking to be reimbursed must file a claim through their private insurance.
“I just got off the phone with our local Region 4 FEMA representative and there is not a FEMA person in our area,” Hodges said. “Don’t let anybody tell you that we got the approval for the removal of debris,” Hodges warned. “Debris on private property is an insurance claim and not handled by the county.
Hodges said they were able to open the local waste stations and people may haul the debris and trash to those stations. Otherwise homeowners should put trash and debris in their receptacle for pickup once the trash pickups resume throughout the county.
“We see a lot of people taking care of their own stuff,” Hodges said noting they now have 98 percent of the roads open. “We are still waiting on power companies to finish up.”
Residents are advised to seek out local and reliable contractors if needed. However, again, any possible reimbursement would be handled through private insurance claims.
Hodges said Georgia Power has a convoy or repair personnel out making restorations. The company has set up a workers camp at the corner of Highway 84 and Leroy Coffer Highway.
He said that allows the workers to stay on-site until all the repairs are completed.