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Recovery continues month after storm
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A month after Hurricane Matthew cut a path through coastal Georgia, residents of Liberty and Long counties affected by the storm are still picking up the pieces.

Here is a breakdown of recent recovery efforts.

Debris removal:

According to a press release from the Liberty County Office of Emergency Management 50,000 cubic yards of storm debris has already been hauled away.

In the release LEMA reports CrowderGulf, the contractor authorized by the county for debris removal, will stay until all storm debris is removed.

Here’s are the rules for debris pickup:

CrowderGulf only can pick up storm related debris per FEMA guidelines. If they pick up anything not storm related, like bagged leaves, FEMA will not reimburse the county. This is being monitored by a monitoring company.

CrowderGulf also can’t pick up debris in plastic or paper bags, and they won’t pick up debris too close to light poles or power or cable lines.

Fences and other type wreckage can’t be picked up at the same type as storm debris, officials say, because it goes into separate waste streams. Debris mixed with fencing won’t be picked up.

Public works will pick up usual yard clippings, so keep that separate.

If a truck picks up a tree and leaves a root ball, they’ll come back and grab it later. It takes different equipment.

If your neighbor’s debris was picked up and yours hasn’t been, explanations range from the truck being full to something in the debris they can’t be picked up or its too close to a light pole.

Officials say they’re getting complaints that public works isn’t picking

up debris. That’s on purpose. Anything public works picks up won’t be reimbursed by FEMA.

Residents in unincorporated areas should use a convenience center for their yard clippings.

LEMA Deputy Director Larry Logan said volunteers are still assisting families remove debris from their yards.

"They can organize chain saw teams, teams to help move debris to the right of way," Logan said, adding they may also assist with other disaster recovery clean-up needs.

Those who need assistance from volunteers should call 1-800-451-1954.

FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers

Two FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers manned by specialists from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration were opened in Liberty County.

Nearly 500 FEMA referrals were recorded in Liberty County and just over 100 in Long. According to SBA media relations specialist Barbara Wilcox more than $1 million in low-interest disaster loans for businesses and residents in the disaster declared areas of Georgia has been approved.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at or by downloading the FEMA mobile app. If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free Helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY).

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure website at

Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to Loan applications can be downloaded from Completed applications can be returned to a recovery center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The deadline to apply for FEMA assistance is Dec. 12. The SBA filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Dec. 16.

Lost wages assistance

Disaster unemployment assistance is available to workers in the declared areas.

Individuals seeking unemployment assistance must first apply for regular unemployment insurance by visiting the Georgia Department of Labor website at or apply in person at any Georgia Department of Labor career center. For locations, visit

Applicants in Liberty and Long counties must apply no later than Nov. 28.

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