Storm cleanup continues in Dougherty Co.

What slows down the process is when debris is not separated...

Storm cleanup continues in Dougherty Co.
Chehaw Park leaders said nearly 800 acres of the park was damaged. (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Public Works crews and debris contractors are actively picking up storm debris across Dougherty County, and officials say that
there is no deadline set for when storm debris crews will no longer pick up materials.

Larry Cook, the director of Dougherty County Public Works, said that there will be an announcement with sufficient notice for residents of when crews will conduct the final pass.

“Residents are doing a good job getting storm debris to the curb,” said Larry Cook, the Director of Public Works for Dougherty County. “What slows down the process is when debris is not separated. Please make separate piles for vegetation, building material, household garbage and white goods. That simple step will help our storm debris teams move as efficiently as possible.”

“We all want to return as quickly as possible to a sense of normalcy and the unique lifestyle we enjoy here in Dougherty County,” said Chris Cohilas, Dougherty County’s Commission Chairman. “We can do that by helping out the crews with how we dispose of our storm debris curbside, and keeping it separated. I am inspired by our citizens assisting their neighbors who can’t easily clean-up their debris. If additional aid is needed, please reach out to one of the many storm relief agencies that are in Dougherty County helping us recover.”

FEMA teams are helping residents navigate the federal assistance application system today from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. at the Disaster Recover Center (DRC) at 300 Cason Road (the Isabella School). Small Business Administration personnel are stationed at the DRC helping business owners with loans and other disaster recovery needs.

FEMA is no longer signing people up for disaster assistance at the Civic Center. Citizens can reach FEMA by calling 800-621-3362, online at www.disasterassistance.gov or in person at the Disaster Recovery Center.

The hours for the Dougherty County DRC this week is as follows: Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m. until 7 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m.

People who have questions about the storm recovery process should attend a county-wide informational meeting Tuesday, October 23 at 7:00 p.m. at Radium Springs Middle School at 2600 Radium Springs Road. Representatives with the Dougherty County Emergency Management Agency (EMA), FEMA, Dougherty County, the City of Albany and Disaster Assistance Recovery will be present to respond to citizen’s questions.

“We hope people will take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about how our community is making progress after Hurricane Michael,” said Christopher Cohilas, the Chairman of the Dougherty County Commission. “There is a great deal of work ahead, and the more our citizens can understand the process, and help in our recovery, the better our overall outcome.”

People needing food can contact the Albany Relief + Recovery COAD at www.arrcoad.com, 229-288-2669. The physical location is at 925 Pine Avenue in Albany, but the staffed hours there are limited. Residents should contact the ARR COAD directly as the hours are subject to change.

Citizens with storm related questions can contact the Emergency Operations Center from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. at 229-483-6226 or 229-483-6227 for information and assistance. Trained personnel are answering the phones and are ready to offer assistance.

Also happening:

The Convoy Care Association, along with the support of several churches and organizations, will be in Albany on Monday, October 22 from 11:30 until 3 p.m. at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 1905 MLK Jr. Drive with truckloads of water, canned goods, clothing and more for people effected by Hurricane Michael.

• Agriculture agencies will have an Ag Disaster Assistance meeting for producers Monday, October 22 at 2 p.m. at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton.

• School resumed for the Dougherty County School System on Monday, October 22. There are resources, including uniform assistance, for students and families effected by Hurricane Michael. Parents and students are urged to let their school administrators and teachers know if there is a need.

There will be no County Commission meeting on Monday, October 22, 2018. The next scheduled meeting will be on Monday, October 29, 2018 at 10 a.m. in Room 120 of the Albany-Dougherty Government Center.

• The burn ban has been lifted in Dougherty County. If citizens want to burn in the county, they will need to obtain a burn permit issued by the Georgia Forestry Commission. Citizens can get a burn permit online at www.gfc.state.ga.us or call 1-877-OK2-BURN (652-2876). Fire officials are asking that people never leave a fire unattended.

• Residents are asked to put debris curbside, not blocking utilities, fire hydrants or driveways. Crews picking up debris will make multiple passes.

• The county-wide curfew was lifted on Thursday, October 18, 2018.

The county’s State of Emergency is extended until October 26, 2018.

• The Albany Transit is operational.

• The Red Cross is providing meals. Please contact the Red Cross for more information.

• The Civic Center is still operating as a shelter.

• All volunteers must register with the Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD) at 925 Pine Ave and receive a bright pink tag/placard for their windshields that designates them as legitimate volunteers.

• All contractors must register with the Business License office at 240 Pine Ave. and receive a bright yellow tag/placard for their windshields.

• If volunteers/contractors are unable to produce this documentation, residents need to call the EOC or law enforcement. The safety is of utmost importance.

Copyright 2018 WALB. All rights reserved.