Dougherty Co. addresses concerns following Hurricane Michael, weekend storms

Debris pick up in Doughtery moves to phase 2

DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - Dougherty County leaders said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may have underestimated how much debris they have to pick up.

And it could affect when and how the debris is removed from your yard.

County leaders said about one million cubic yards have been picked up in Dougherty County already.

The corps will be doing its debris pick up in two phases. It’s hoping to complete 70 percent of the clean up during phase one and finish the last 30 percent in phase two.

Homeowners are still left with piles and piles of debris in their yards. But the first phase of pickup is almost over now.

“Property owners should know that once it’s done, there will be one additional pass, one final pass, that will clean up the debris they can get up,” said Assistant Public Works Director Chucky Mathis.

The U.S Army Corps of Engineers will now be doing two phases of debris pick in Dougherty County, instead of three like they had originally promised.

“There was a plan to do more, but they probably can’t afford it now,” said Interim County Administrator Mike McCoy.

The corps' original price assessment was based on estimates of how much debris homeowners really needed picked up. But the estimates weren’t enough.

“A lot of their debris was not brought out. Homeowners had to bring the stuff out, so it was pretty much impossible to make an accurate estimation of it,” said Mathis.

When the corps does make its rounds, the plan is to pick up the majority of the large piles in your yard.

“Their real goal is to move the mass and the big items as a homeowner and others we can’t handle ourselves,” Mathis said.

Which means if you live in an unincorporated area in the county, any small debris left after the pickups will be up to you to rake and clean.

“It takes time to clean up this type of debris,” said Mathis.

Mathis said the corps hopes to be done with phase one by the end of the week.

They’ll give homeowners at least a seven day notice before beginning phase two to make sure you get all of your debris out in your yard in time.

Public Works crews had also been out in Dougherty County all weekend, trying to pump the flood waters out of low-lying areas.

The flooding in Dougherty County this weekend was so bad, Public Works crews had to bring in extra pumps, even hand pumps, to try to get the water out of the low-lying areas.

Mathis said to think of these low-lying areas like bowls. He said these areas retain a lot of water, in some cases like this past weekend, the water spills over the sides of the “bowl.” And sometimes they’re around homes and properties.

That is why Public Works brought in hand pumps to try to help with all of the flooding.

“In places where we can pump some of the waters back onto the public right of ways and get into the storm drain systems, we do that,” said Mathis.

Crews also had to close four roads for safety reasons.

Lovers Lane and Mudcreek Roads have been reopened, but Edith and Holmes are still closed while Public Works waits for the water to drain.

Mathis does want to remind all drivers of the old saying, if you see water across the road, turn around, don’t drown.

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