Federal assistance to help ice-damaged counties - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Federal assistance to help ice-damaged counties

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SYLVANIA, GA (WTOC) -

When the ice storm brought down trees and power lines in and around Sylvania, government crews worked around the clock to open roads and keep people safe.

That meant tons of overtime and a potential drain on city and county budgets.

On Thursday, Sylvania, Screven County and other communities hit by the February freeze learned they were part of a disaster declaration by Washington.

It means they could get 75 percent of their storm costs reimbursed if their costs reached approximately $3.50 per resident.

"If this comes through, it certainly will help offset what we spent," explained county manager Rick Jordon.

Jordan said the county's other options would have been to deplete their reserve savings or cut back on services to offset the costs.

One of their biggest challenges is debris removal and disposal. Most county roads still have debris piles waiting for collection and burning.

However, what they have collected totals 1,000 tons. Some of that has already been burned, via EPD permit. Meanwhile more awaits disposal.

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