Editorial: Tornado cleanup

Editorial: Tornado cleanup

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Cleaning up millions of cubic yards of storm debris across South Georgia, caused by the deadly tornadoes and storms in January, is an enormous undertaking.

And people haven't wasted a moment getting to work, from paid workers to volunteers, progress is being made daily.

In Albany, there have been three community-wide clean-ups,  plus countless hours donated by volunteers with organizations like Samaritan's Purse.

These collective efforts restoring our region's natural beauty will pay off in more ways than you may think.

Turns out, the faster the debris is picked up, the higher the FEMA reimbursement will be for local governments, and the less burden on taxpayers.

If all of the storm debris is cleaned up in the first 120 days, FEMA will reimburse between 75 to 85 percent.

After 120 days, there is zero reimbursement, and the clean-up costs will rest on us.

Here's what we all can do to help make the process efficient. First, volunteer your time with the clean-up.

There are plenty of organizations and churches helping, we have contacts for you on our website.

Second, it is critical that you sort and stack your debris properly.

South Georgians know our region is special, and even the out of town disaster experts have commented on our unique sense of community and willingness to serve.

That is why we will recover from these storms.  Cleaning up millions of cubic yards of trash is a huge undertaking, and South Georgia can't afford to waste time.

Let's get to work.

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