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Winter storm: County will collect debris from roadside

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

Georgetown County Council has agreed to hire contractors to haul away winter storm-related yard debris stacked by public roads beginning Monday.

Council members met in an executive session Wednesday for more than an hour to discuss the contract before voting in open session to declare the fallout from Winter Storm Pax a county emergency.

The news came as John Scott was piling limbs in front of his house on Blockade Road at Pawleys Island Wednesday. He had just finished repairing three holes in his roof caused by falling limbs and hadn’t had time to deal with his yard.

Citizens have been hauling broken limbs and other yard waste from the storm to the county landfill and recycling centers for the past week as they recovered from the ice storm. The remainder, including limbs gathered by professional tree and lawn services, will be picked up at county expense if they are placed along public roads.

The county’s removal service will not extend to private roads or gated communities. County residents should place storm-related debris on the public right-of-way, the area of residential property extending from the road to the sidewalk, ditch, utility pole or easement. Contractors will remove only storm-generated vegetative debris, not construction materials, garbage or bagged waste. Residents are being cautioned to keep debris away from mailboxes, water meters, fire hydrants or any above-ground utilities.

Pawleys Island residents are being provided a similar service by the town. Debris in Georgetown and Andrews will be collected by the county’s contractor, and the municipalities will be billed for the service, according to Jackie Broach, the county public information officer.

County Administrator Sel Hemingway said the storm debris will probably be ground into wood chips at the landfill and sold to an industry that could use it for fuel. Money for the clean-up will come from the county’s $10 million emergency fund.

Doug Eggiman, chief of Midway Fire and Rescue, encouraged residents to take advantage of the county service rather than burning yard waste.

“Outdoor burning is always a concern of ours,” Eggiman said. “We strongly encourage people to take advantage of that and be cognizant of the fire hydrants.”

The Rev. Johnny Ford of House of God Church was glad to hear about the county’s plans. He and church members planned to remove broken limbs for residents of Petigru Road on Saturday. Ford and the Rev. Wil Keith, rector of Holy Cross-Faith Memorial Episcopal Church, patched roofs for Petigru residents last Saturday.

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