Columbia County completes storm debris cleanup



Nearly two months after debris removal began, Emer­gency and Operations director Pam Tucker confirmed Wednesday evening that cleanup is finished in Colum­bia County.

“It’s been a long and tiring process, but I’m proud to say that a huge part of our cleanup process is 100-percent complete,” Tucker said. “We started the debris removal on Feb. 19 so it’s basically been two months of non-stop work.”

The amount of debris removed from the county totaled 539,587 cubic yards over 48 zones.

From this point on, Tucker said, the contractor will be hauling the debris out of the county’s temporary storage sites to pre-selected final disposal sites outside Columbia County.

“We’re glad the debris is off the streets, but we’re ready to get it out of the county,” she said. “Also, I’ve been asked by citizens about receiving mulch and we will not be offering that. It’s just a nasty mix of pine and sap.”

As for the county being reimbursed for the cleanup, Columbia County’s claim with FEMA is in the process of being filed.

“Just the first 30 days of debris removal added up to $3.6 million,” she said. “We’re working hard to get that money back for our community and then we can start finalizing data for claim reimbursement.”

Tucker expressed her gratitude to the citizens of Columbia County.

“I’m so appreciative of all of the cooperation we’ve received from Columbia County citizens during this process,” she said. “Thank you. You really made it go smooth with your outstanding patience and assistance.”

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