Recovering from a storm can be confusing, what with all the information floating around.
With that in mind, here are some helpful reminders and guidelines for residents in Liberty and Long counties to help individual recovery efforts.
And remember, beware of scams. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
Storm debris, trash pickup
Unlike Hurricane Matthew, which resulted in 200,000 cubic tons of debris, Irma’s impact was significantly less in terms of downed trees, limbs and other debris.
But, Irma packed quite a punch in coastal Liberty County, where storm surge inundated several homes, destroyed the public boat dock in Sunbury, as well as the old Sunbury Lodge.
Liberty County will not collect storm debris at curbside in the unincorporated sections of the county.
Residents in those areas are encouraged to separate household trash and storm damage debris from downed trees, limbs and brush debris.
Trees and brush debris may be burned as an alternative disposal method. Those wishing to do so should contact the Georgia Forestry Commission at 912-884-3331 or visit www.gfc.state.ga.us/online-permits to obtain the proper permits.
Items such as damaged or waterlogged furniture and drywall should not be burned.
These and all other materials should be brought to one of the County provided collection centers. According to Liberty EMA the Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief Agency is in Liberty County to offer assistance to those in need of disaster clean-up, this includes major tree damage and/or flood damage and treatment. They are here strictly to help those who are truly in need of help such as residents who do not have insurance and are unable to do major cleanups on their own.
They will be taking applications at the Fleming Baptist Church from noon until 5 p.m. Sunday and from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Additional questions may be directed to the Liberty EMA at 912-368-2201.
The City of Hinesville will began trash services Thursday. The roadside pickup for trash was anticipated to return to a normal schedule yesterday.
“ESG Public Works will resume yard waste collection on Monday,” ESG Assistant Project Director and District 5 Commissioner said. “Due to the amount of debris generated by Hurricane Irma, our early estimate is that it will take us 4-6 weeks to make a sweep of the entire city. The completed estimate time for Monday’s route alone will probably take a week to ten days. In an effort to collect debris as quickly as possible, we have adjusted our schedule to employ additional manpower and equipment. We appreciate your cooperation as we work to restore the appearance of this great city.”
Residents of Walthourville and Flemington may take storm debris to the roadside for pickup. Other City residents should contact their individual city hall concerning debris management.
In Long County, Code Enforcement has recommended residents place debris piles near the road so that the county can work on the assessment of the clean-up.
No house hold garbage should be placed in the debris piles. Call 545-3683 to notify Long County Code Enforcement where you have a debris pile. The County’s three convenience centers are open on their normal schedule to accept household debris. This does not include garbage.
There are still sections of the county that are being assessed by different agencies. For now neither Liberty nor Long County meet the threshold requirement, on their own, to qualify for FEMA individual assistance.
According to Liberty EMA Director Mike Hodges FEMA could decide to declare a region of the state as eligible for individual assistance. In Georgia the hardest hit areas where along the coast from Tybee Island south to coastal Glynn and Camden County, which were the three areas hardest hit.
Currently only Chatham, Camden and Glynn County have been approved for FEMA individual assistance.
However should FEMA declare the region eligible for individual assistance, the help provided by FEMA is only to individuals who don’t have homeowner’s insurance or whose current insurance does not cover all of their losses.
Liberty and Long County have been approved for FEMA public assistance which provides financial aid only to state and local government agencies and certain private non-profits for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster damaged facilities.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resources Division is currently assessing damages to beach front property, private docks, bank stabilizations, marinas, commercial docks, or other structures within coastal waters, marshlands, or along barrier island beaches.
File your claims
Even if the area becomes approved for FEMA individual assistance, those with insurance must file a claim with their respective insurance companies.
If your home or car were damaged and if you live in an area where flood insurance was a requirement, you should prepare to file claims for your losses.
Before filing a claim, photograph the damage to the outside and inside or your property. If water got inside your home, document and photograph the areas affected then clean up and remove water damaged rugs, furniture and drywall sections soaked by the water. Removing water damaged walls and rugs within the first 24-48 hours will eliminate the risk of mold.