BRUNSWICK, GA (WTOC) - The Georgia Department of Insurance is hosting a Catastrophe Claims Village in Glynn County on Tuesday to help those with insurance questions and claims resulting from Hurricane Irma.
It's happening in the parking lot of the Home Depot on Altama Connector in Brunswick. Crews tell us hundreds of people have been there over the past two days. They hope this speeds up the process for people with storm damage to get started on the road to recovering from Irma.
Teams from the 10 largest insurance companies in Georgia have teams in the parking lot to begin the claims process for people who suffered some kind of damage last week during the storm. They encourage you to bring photos and policy numbers to help speed up the process. For insurance regulators, this is a way to help get customers what they might not be getting.
"Let's say they've left voicemails back and forth and don't feel like they're being paid attention to. If you come here, you can see someone face to face and work with the company," said Jay Florence, Dep. Insurance Commissioner.
City officials say Hurricane Harvey's damage in Texas has also hurt recovery efforts here.
"We're seeing people from other states coming to help, but not the kind of numbers we saw last year, and that's slowing down our progress to move forward," said Jim Drumm, Brunswick City Manager.
Hurricane victims in Brunswick have plenty of work ahead of them. They have a long list that includes removing debris, filing claims, and living through the process. Most of the power has been restored, and now they're cleaning up the mess.
Floodwaters brought tons of marsh rack and other debris into yards and homes. Ann Strother, a Riverside Drive resident, says they first heard winds last Monday morning, then daylight brought an equally scary sight.
"At high tide, we could see it and we thought it had reached its peak, but I guess the storm moved through and it just kept rising," Strother said.
It rose through their boathouse and carport and up into the house. They're among the neighbors piling debris outside. City leaders say you can't just throw marsh rack, carper, and drywall in together.
"When we go to disposal sites, we're authorized to take things to certain places and they may be in different locations.When they're mixed, it makes it more difficult, so some piles may have to sit there until they can be separated," Drumm said.
Ann says they're trying to leave some things in place until insurance companies see it for themselves before they try to move forward.
"When the tide went back out and the house was still retaining water, you just wondered, 'Gosh, where do we begin," Sttrother said.
Representatives from FEMA will be in town Wednesday for a town hall meeting at First Jordan Grove, beginning at 6 p.m.