Susan Hardee Steger
After Tropical Storm Beryl, county officials admit they are lacking the internal resources necessary to handle massive amounts of debris. Unlike the citizens of Fernandina, county residents do not have regular debris removal services.
Under normal conditions if county residents require debris pick up, they are charged an additional fee. According to a Nassau County press release, when the county secures a contract with a firm to clean up the storm debris, “there will be an announcement made as to when pick-ups will be made and also drop-off points locations for those who wish to move the debris themselves.”
Advanced Disposal Services (ADS) in its contract with the City of Fernandina, agrees to allow city resources to assist ADS with debris pick up after a storm related event. Advanced Disposal Services will bring in an additional truck on May 31, to help with cleanup. ADS and City crews will focus on high traffic roadways.
The following press release from the City of Fernandina Beach is an update on debris removal and safety information that is helpful to all citizens.
STORM DEBRIS CLEAN-UP SAFETY INFORMATION
City and its contractor crews continue to work aggressively to clear streets and roadways of fallen trees and debris resulting from Tropical Storm Beryl. Additional resources are being deployed to complete the cleanup as quickly as possible.
We would like to remind citizens that City, County, State and Federal agencies are not authorized to remove debris from private property except in situations where the debris is deemed to pose an extraordinary threat to human health and safety. Therefore, removal of debris from private property is the responsibility of the property owner.
The City and its debris contractor will only pick up debris that is brought to the curb or edge of the public roadway. Property owners should make sure their debris piles don’t block the right-of-way; obstruct fireplugs or utility meters; or block drains or ditches which can create a risk of flooding during subsequent rainstorms.
Construction debris (i.e. roofing tiles/shingles, metal panels, masonry, lumber, etc.) must be placed in garbage bins and NOT mixed with yard waste or the material will not be picked up.
If debris is too large, property owners may need to hire a debris removal contractor who will arrange for debris disposal. Before hiring anyone, they should check with their insurance company to find out if their policy covers debris removal and the deductible and any limitations of that coverage.
Neither the City nor the County recommend or endorse any contractor. Property owners should be leery of any contractors who say or advertise that they are working for or endorsed by any government agency.
Residents are urged to beware of the increased chance of injury by understanding and preparing for hazards and safety issues. Tips to help prevent cleanup injuries include:
- Boots and gloves are important protective measures to protect against timber and metal debris
- Ensure children are well supervised and away from work areas
- If moving large heavy and awkward-sized items, particularly if they’re waterlogged, use some form of lifting equipment if available or get some help
- Ensure all equipment is in good condition, fit for the purpose and that appropriate safety guards are in place and working properly
- Clear debris from areas where vehicles are operating and beware of potential washouts hidden by standing water
- Be cautious of trees and structures that may have been destabilized by water
Ensure you have access to water and food and schedule regular rest breaks to reduce fatigue,
Reported 5/31- 5:47 a.m.