October 25, 2016


Update on debris collection and FEMA assistance

By IRENE NOLAN


"We're hitting it hard today," Edward Mann, Dare County's director of Public Works, said in a telephone interview from Hatteras Island, where he was checking in on Hurricane Matthew debris collection.

Mann said the debris collection got off to a slower start than the county would have liked because permits had to be acquired for the site on which the debris will be collected.

He explained that the county gets permits ahead of the hurricane season for sites in Stumpy Point and National Park Service land just south of Salvo.  The NPS site near the Salvo Day Use Area worked out well after Hurricane Irene in 2011 when the major damage was in the northern Hatteras villages.

However, after Matthew, Mann said the Park Service offered an even more convenient site since the damage in this storm was mostly in the southern Hatteras villages.

That site is the old U.S. Coast Guard base at the end of Old Lighthouse Road in Buxton.

The use of the Buxton site, Mann said, will greatly speed up the collection of debris since trucks will have to travel only a few miles north to empty their cargo  instead of a long round-trip to Salvo or Stumpy Point.

The site required permitting by the state and the Park Service.

"They pulled out all the stops to get it done quickly," Mann said, adding that the permits arrived yesterday, so this morning, the work of collecting the mountains of debris, especially in Frisco and Hatteras villages, got underway in a big way.

The contractor, TAG Grinding Services of Marietta, Ga., will work at least 12 hours a day, seven days a week, Mann said, though he said he doesn't have an estimate about how long it will take to get it all picked up.

Updated debris collection schedules will be posted routinely at darenc.com under news.

The county will receive federal FEMA assistance for debris pickup, which is estimated to cost about $1.7 million.

All storm-generated debris should be placed on a state-maintained road in the public right-of-way and separated as follows:

  • VEGETATIVE DEBRIS. Whole trees, tree stumps, tree branches, tree trunks and other leafy material.
  • CONSTRUCTION AND DEMOLITION DEBRIS. Damaged components of buildings and structures such as lumber and wood, wall board, glass, metal, roofing materials, tile, furnishings, and fixtures.
  • HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE.  Materials that are ignitable, reactive, toxic or corrosive such as paints, cleaners, pesticides, etc.
  • WHITE GOODS. Refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, heat pumps, ovens, ranges, washing machines, clothes dryers and water heaters.
  • ELECTRONIC WASTE. Computers, televisions, office electronic equipment, etc.
Only loose debris will be collected. Bagged debris should not be placed on the public right-of-way.

FEMA INFORMATION
 
A FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance Team began outreach efforts on Hatteras Island yesterday.

According to a county news release, the team is partnering with county personnel and will meet with those who experienced extreme flooding and lost almost everything.

As they complete their work in Hatteras village and Frisco, the team will work in other impacted areas of the county. Information on these teams can be found at http://tinyurl.com/jt2wllv.

There is discussion of a mobile FEMA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) being deployed to Dare County that would move around providing services to the most impacted areas. Should this be approved, a detailed schedule of times and locations will be provided.

"Please keep in mind that it is not necessary to visit a center to register for and receive federal disaster assistance," according to the county.

If possible, survivors should register with FEMA before visiting a recovery center. You may register for assistance online or by phone - visit https://www.disasterassistance.gov/
 or call 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585.

As of Monday morning, more than 500 applications from Dare County homeowners, renters and business owners have been submitted to FEMA that have led to almost $500,000 being released to local disaster survivors.

Dare County officials stress that it is very important for disaster survivors to register with FEMA as they may be eligible for disaster assistance, such as temporary housing, rental assistance and home repairs, and for other serious disaster-related needs, such as repairing or replacing damaged or destroyed personal property and medical and dental expenses.

Business owners impacted by the storm should register as well. Doing so will help expedite assistance as Small Business Administration and other business recovery programs are approved. 
            
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