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Carter visits Liberty County
U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter visited Liberty County Wednesday morning and meet with officials and personnel from the Liberty County Office of Emergency Management. - photo by Patty Leon

U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter visited Liberty County Wednesday morning and meet with officials and personnel from the Liberty County Office of Emergency Management.

Carter said he was impressed with how quickly vital services were being restored and applauded the efforts of county, city and emergency workers.

“It is obvious they did a great job,” Carter said. “First of all in preparation and planning and then in response. If you look at everything that has happened in the recovery period then you know they’ve been on top of it. And they’ve done an excellent job.”

Carter said it is now time for the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and Federal Emergency Management Agency to step up local efforts.

“It’s time to get GEMA and FEMA involved and do what we have to do in order to meet the thresholds,” Carter said. “Liberty has been declared a disaster area by FEMA so that enables us to get debris removed.”

He said the county has to meet certain thresholds before FEMA will approve individual assistance. As of right now, individual federal assistance is not available. All home damage and losses must be reimbursed through personal insurance claims.

“As long as we can meet those thresholds we should be OK,” he said, but noted it will take time in getting all the necessary documents completed and filed.

Once documents are filed they need to be approved by FEMA.

In the meantime, Carter said people should still take the necessary steps in getting their homes back in order.

“I encourage everyone first of all to be safe….Secondly make sure you look out for scammers. They are out there,” Carter warned. “That is something we have to be aware of. Lastly, make sure you document everything.”

Carter encouraged people to photograph as much of the damage as possible before removing the debris. Once you document the damage, clear up and clean the area as much as possible to make things safe.

Carter said he has visited other areas to determine the scope of need in the communities.

“The first Congressional district includes all of coastal Georgia,” he said. “We had some problems down in St. Simons. Folks couldn’t get back in until yesterday. They’ve had some water and sewer problems down there. The entire coast, for the most part, did OK. Sapelo Island did get hit hard. They took a big hit. Savannah has a heavy tree canopy so obviously there are a lot of trees down in that area which also has a large population. But again the emergency personnel and the public officials did a great job preparing and responding. Injuries were at a minimum. We just need to get in and get the cleanup done.”

Liberty County Board of Commissioners Chairman Donald Lovette said it was great to see Carter taking an interest in the local recovery efforts.

“We can’t place a value on it,” Lovette said. “The people need to see the people who represent them in their front yard. And when you go through a catastrophe like this, on this level, you need to have the people who represent you come visit and let the people know they care. It is vitally important.”

Liberty County Administrator Joey Brown gave a brief update of current situations. He said as of 4 p.m. Tuesday there was still 1,137 Georgia Power customers without power. Canoochee EMC had 500 outages and Coastal EMC had 980.

The water systems in the City of Hinesville, Midway, Riceboro, Walthourville and the county were all fully functional, officials said, but the county issued a boil water advisory for residents who receive water services from Water Utility Management. 

Seabrook Island, which is a privately owned water system, is still non-functional at this time, officials said.

There were no storm-related deaths and only four injuries reported. To date there are no shelters open. However, there are various church organizations which have been and continue to offer hot meals throughout the county. The United Way of the Coastal Empire, Liberty Branch plans to provide another giveaway today. They have also asked for donations of feminine products and toiletries so they can give those out to those in need.

The Georgia Department of Health, Coastal Health District Office has issued boil water advisory for any Liberty County residents who receive water services through Water Utility Management. Residents are advised to either use bottled water or “boil” all tap water prior to use for drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth, or preparing baby food.

To boil water:

Fill a pot with water.

Heat the water until bubbles come from the bottom of the pot to the top.

Once the water reaches a rolling boil, let it boil for at least 1 minute.

Turn off the heat source and let the water cool.

Pour the water into a clean container with a cover for storage. 

     Residents should continue to boil their water until they are notified by public health or their drinking water utility that the water system has been restored to full operation and the water is safe to drink. For information on the boil water advisory for Water Utility Management customers, go to

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