County sets Nov. 1 as debris collection start date

Published 7:07 pm Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hurricane Matthew debris pickup will begin on Nov. 1.

Beaufort County government announced Tuesday that crews collecting roadside vegetative and construction and demolition (C&D) debris caused by Matthew will start pickup on the south side of the Pamlico River, in Richland Township, and in Bath and Pantego townships on the north side of the river. Crews will then work their way west through the county over the following two weeks, a press release from Beaufort County government stated.

“The main reason for waiting a few weeks for the Nov. 1 date, was to give homeowners or occupants time to get debris out onto the road,” said Seth Laughlin, Beaufort County’s planning director. “A lot of insurance adjustors don’t want people to move stuff out of the house — they need to see the damage. If crews go out too early you’re missing the opportunity to have the debris collected.”

The county has contracted with an out-of-state company for collection, Southern Disaster Recovery.

“The main thing is their recommendation that you’ve got to give people time to get through the insurance process (before collection),” Laughlin said. “They’re going to bring in their own trucks, as many as five. We anticipate it will take about a week to two weeks — probably on the lighter side because damage wasn’t as extensive as previous storms. … In this case, we only had two hard hit communities. That was the Carrow Mobile Home Park on VOA Road and Tranter’s Run. The C&D debris is going to be limited largely to those areas.”

The FEMA disaster declaration for Beaufort County means there will be reimbursement for providing the debris collection service throughout the county and in the municipalities of Aurora, Bath, Belhaven, Chocowinity and Pantego. The Town of Belhaven has already cleared its own debris, as have several other areas, according to Laughlin.

“Most of the vegetative debris has already been taken care of by the homeowners. I’d like to compliment the people of Beaufort County who don’t wait around for someone else to clear it, and just load it up and dispose of it themselves,” Laughlin said.

According to Lisa Respess Williams, emergency specialist with Beaufort County Emergency Management, remaining hurricane debris should be divided into two different piles: vegetative debris such as tree branches, and everything else — flood-damaged furniture, dry wall, curtains, mattresses, as well as shingles, studs, insulation and other hurricane-damaged structural materials.

“All debris should be placed within the right-of-way, but well off the road, so as not to impede traffic or create unsafe driving conditions,” the press release reads. “Do not place debris around mailboxes, driveway culverts, utility poles or utility meters.”