Hurricane Cleanup Costs Rise in Georgia Coastal County

November 22, 2016

Cleanup costs keep rising in Chatham County, along Georgia’s coast, in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.

The latest estimate of the funds needed to recover from damage in unincorporated parts of the county is now more than $22.2 million, The Savannah Morning News reported.

That’s up nearly $6.6 million from the county’s last budget update Nov. 4.

The initial budget was estimated at about $15.7 million, Finance Director Amy Davis wrote in a memo explaining the budget amendment to the commission.

Mounds of debris in Jayee Park on Tybee Island, GA. Photo by Gary Petty - Oct 26, 2016
Mounds of debris in Jayee Park on Tybee Island, GA. Photo by Gary Petty – Oct 26, 2016

“Once work began it was quickly determined that the amount of debris was significantly higher than originally estimated,” Davis wrote.

After accounting for reimbursements from state and federal agencies, the costs to the county are estimated at just under $2 million, Chatham County Finance Director Amy Davis said in a memo.

The hurricane left behind some 1.2 million cubic yards of tree limbs, trunks and leaves in the unincorporated county when it hugged the Georgia coast late Oct. 7 and early Oct 8.

As of Wednesday, an estimated 845,693 cubic yards of debris from around the county had been piled in collection sites, the Savannah newspaper reported.

“We think, based on meetings we had this week, that we’re about 60 percent done on pickup,” Assistant City Manager Linda Cramer said.

The county will be communicating an estimated debris removal cutoff date so residents have the opportunity to get any remaining debris out to the rights-of-way, she added.

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