CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Storm debris from Hurricane Matthew is slowly but surely being picked up off the sides of the roads, but a new deadline is now in place for homeowners in the unincorporated areas of Chatham County.
You have exactly one month, until January 2, to put debris out on the right of way. After that, it won't be picked up.
The Chatham County Commission says their contractors have almost finished the first pass of pickup and will start the second soon. But if they don't put this in place, they will be picking up debris for months.
It's also important that they document the debris so they can send it to FEMA. They've put in the appeal to get reimbursed for pickup of 1.1 million cubic yards they've already picked up so far in one pass.
They're also be picking up fallen trees and 51 stumps. Right now, they're looking at a price tag of $20 to $23 million.
Keep in mind this is for private roads, gated communities and the unincorporated areas.
"In other words, if you have any other storm related debris past January 2, then it's not going to be considered storm-related and there is a good chance it may not get picked up. Particularly if it's by a private contractor or lawn service. If they put it out past that date, past January 2, it could be considered illegal dumping if its put out by a contractor," said Robert Drewry, with Chatham County Public Works.
They will be putting cameras in place to catch illegal dumping. They believe the debris reimbursement model is off but they're hoping to hear back from FEMA by mid-December. If denied, they will try higher and go to Washington D.C.