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WAGT NBC 26 Video- Aiken County Clean Up Underway

March 14, 2014

Aiken County storm cleanup expected to last 8-12 more weeks

WAGT NBC TV 26

 For continued updates please visit the WAGT NBC 26 website. Click on the photo above to visit the website for more information.

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. -We are in the dead middle of a cleanup effort following a massive winter ice storm.

It was one month ago this week and Master’s Sunday is one month from today.

In Aiken, South Boundary is usually one of the most scenic drives in the county. Now, it’s covered with unsightly debris and limbs.

Aiken County EMS director, Tommy Thompson said no cleanup effort is an ideal situation, “You’re never going to be where you want to be, but we are at a satisfactory level. Of course, emphasis is to clear to roadways. We’re looking out for public safety.”

With the Aiken Trials, Steeplechase, and the Masters coming up in the next month, Thompson said heavily populated and traveled roads are getting lots of attention right now, “Especially the city of Aiken and North Augusta, they have chosen to use their own equipment to do their cleaning so they are concentrating on those areas where they know there will be high traffic for those events coming up.”

Though the damage is a month old, strong winds came along Wednesday night and finished what the storm started. Thompson said power outages were recorded all across the county due to hanging and leaning limbs, “Even into the evening, I know overnight there were approximately 1500 power outages that were caused by this falling debris.”

More suburban counties in our area like Aiken qualified for FEMA reimbursements because of widespread damage, but smaller counties like McCormick didn’t. However, because of widespread damage across the state, smaller counties will have access to that money.

Thompson said, “Even though they may not have qualified and hit that threshold and qualified, the state qualified so that opens up the door for them to qualify for reimbursement from FEMA.”

Thompson wanted to stress to residents that patience is key right now. He expects the cleanup to continue for as many as twelve more weeks, “Right now we have gotten that portion finished as of last week, for the major part. We’re starting to pick up debris along the right of ways.”

SCEMA Conference a Success!

March 10, 2014

Al McClaran Chief Operating Officer of SDR at SCEMA Conference

Southern Disaster Recovery was a proud sponsor of the 2014 SCEMA Conference held in Myrtle Beach.

It was great to see South Carolina’s professional association of experts in Emergency Management gathered together.

The only challenge was the heavy rain. The golf tournament was cancelled. Better luck next year!

SDR Featured on WJBF TV 6 – Company to Manage Aiken County Clean Up

March 6, 2014

WJBF TV 6WJBF News March 6, 2014

(Reprint of WJBF article. Fore more information please click on one of the photos above to link to WJBF – TV 6 website.)

March 6, 2014

Aiken County started the process of storm debris clean up on Monday, February 24th. This process will continue for the next several weeks. Twenty-eight zones have been established throughout the county for debris pickup. Southern Disaster Recovery (SDR), Aiken County’s contractor, will be moving throughout the county using multiple crews, at the same time, to ensure an efficient clean-up of the county. While SDR will be providing clean-up of county owned roads, please note that private driveways are not included in this pick-up process.

If you did not get your ice-storm related tree debris and vegetation to the roadway before the crews made their first pass, they will be making a second pass. This second pick-up will occur approximately two to three weeks out. It is important that all ice storm related debris be brought to your road frontage for collection in this time frame.

There are several things to remember when placing vegetation and limbs next to the roadway:

  • Do not place debris in the road or travelway.
  • Place the limbs such that they will not scrape a passing car or block a ditch or drainage box.
  • Do not place debris near adjacent mailboxes, fire hydrants, water meters, cable boxes, etc.
  • Be respectful of passing vehicles and potentially blocking the visibility at driveways.
  • Do not put debris in trash or refuse bags.
  • Do not put damaged lawn furniture or building materials out for collection. These materials require separate processing and proper disposal at a landfill.

Aiken County will be closing their three established storm debris drop off sites after Saturday, March 15th.

  • Boyd Pond Park – 373 Boyd Pond Rd. Aiken, SC 29803
  • Harrison Carver Park – 4181 Augusta Rd.(Hwy 421) Warrenville, SC 29851
  • Roy Warner Park – 4287 Festival Trail Rd. Wagener, SC 29164

With this deadline coming-up, it is important than that citizens bring their storm debris to these collection sites or move it to the roadway.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has already conducted a preliminary damage assessment throughout Aiken County. Any funds that are provided to our local government agency will be used to cover the expense of debris removal from roads/right-of-ways and public properties. It is not anticipated that FEMA will provide any individual assistance for storm clean-up.

A Greenville Point of View

February 21, 2014

In Greenville, South Carolina it is reported that folks are taking the storm aftermath a little more in stride.

According to downtown resident Willy Senza, “Greenville’s beautiful but with a little bit of snow it’s pretty amazing. It adds a little bit of charm.”

Ed Brewer, pastor of Bountyland Baptist Church in Seneca, S.C., had a good line… he said
“My old mountain granny used to call this kind of snow “‘chigger dandruff’” referring to a common name for mites that are a pesky irritant in the South.

Story Credit: USA TODAY – To read more about the storm in the south, please click here.

A storm worse than Hurricane Hugo!

February 21, 2014

“I didn’t know this was going to be in the same realm as Hugo,” South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said of the storm wreckage that resembled the hurricane that struck in 1989. “To look at these neighborhoods and see the trees down and on houses – to see all of the devastation that’s happened to this community – is terrible.”

A truck passes a downed tree blocking part of a road after a rare winter ice storm on February 12, 2014 in Summerville, South Carolina. (Photo by Richard Ellis/Getty Images)   Richard Ellis Getty Images

A truck passes a downed tree blocking part of a road after a rare winter ice storm on February 12, 2014 in Summerville, South Carolina. (Photo by Richard Ellis/Getty Images) Richard Ellis Getty Images

Southern Disaster Recovery has been awarded EMERGENCY DEBRIS REMOVAL CONTRACTS for debris removal duties in four of the hardest hit counties of South Carolina. SDR will be working with Emergency Management officials in Williamsburg, Aiken, Barnwell and Riverdale counties. In South Carolina, the state Emergency Management Division estimates that the storm has created a million cubic yards of debris statewide. Officials are still evaluating damage and debris amounts.

The South Carolina Forestry Commission is trying to gauge how much damage the ice storm did to the state’s forests. According to Commission spokesman Scott Hawkins, aerial surveys are underway, and crews are getting “boots on the ground” assessments. But tabulation of the damage over multiple counties is going to take some time.

To see more ice images click here.

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