Columbia County officials expect cleanup of storm debris to take 45 days and are extending service to include residents on private roads.
“The debris is so massive, we have to help,” Columbia County Emergency and Operations Director Pam Tucker said late last week.
The Columbia County Commission voted Tuesday night to allow the county’s debris removal contractor, Ceres Environmental Services Inc., to pick up storm debris on private roads, which would include gated communities, such as West Lake. Although the county does not maintain their streets, homeowners in these areas do pay property taxes and need to be included in the cleanup effort, commission Chairman Ron Cross said.
“This is a case where we had to make an exception because this was an exceptional situation,” Cross said.
The removal contractor will go through each area once, so residents need to have their debris on the roadside as soon as possible, according to Tucker. Debris should be placed as close to the curb as possible without being in the street. Residents with long driveways need to put the debris on the main road.
Only limbs and trees up to 10 feet will be picked up.
Debris should not be placed in bags or anything else, and the piles should not be stacked on anything such as fencing, mailboxes or yard ornaments. Piles containing other items including bags and construction materials will not be hauled away.
Tucker said anyone with concerns about debris pickup should call the Emergency Operations Center at (706) 868-3303 by March 3. For more information, call the EOC or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.