Columbia County officials said crews were out Wednesday utilizing the new software to complete storm damage assessments before debris cleanup gets underway Thursday.
According to EMA director Andy Leanza, the ESRI software utilizes the county’s Geo Information Systems capabilities. Crews in the field can take a photo and designate a code for the problem area. It is then pinpointed on a large map of the county. The information is accessible by department managers and other officials who were stationed at the Emergency Operations Center during the storm.
The maps are then projected on large screens at the EOC with members of the GIS department, administrators and other key decision makers for departments responding to calls coming to 311.
The hotspots compiled during the storm showed several major problem areas between Furys Ferry and Old Evans Road in addition to multiple areas in Appling.
Leanza said the county is well ahead of its Friday deadline to report damage numbers to Georgia EMA.
More than 100 evacuees were housed in county shelters. Leanza said some used the shelters as a “warming station” to stop and grab a bite to eat on their way home.
The Patriots Park shelter got nearly 100 evacuees Monday, when the worst of the storm hit.
As debris cleanup gets underway, county officials said there’s a shortage of debris removal companies due to the damage suffered in Florida and Texas.
The county is not allowed to clear personal property, but has identified a local company where residents can haul storm debris.
“For those citizens that do have residential debris and yard waste, the county encourages you to utilize local contractors for clean-up. For those wishing to self-haul, the county has identified Sample & Son, Inc. located at 5944 Columbia Road, Appling as a drop off location,” according to a news release from the county.
In addition to regular hours of operation, the drop-off location will have Saturday hours from 8 a.m. to noon.
According to the release, the fees are as follows: Pickup trucks are $10; normal sized trailers are $20. (If the load contains big logs from downed trees, it will be $17 per ton and a $20 minimum fee).
The drop-off location is for residential use only.