Athens-Clarke County Responds to Hurricane Irma

Athens-Clarke County expects to have the numbers on how much Tropical Storm Irma cost the county by October 15. When Irma hit Athens on September 11, the winds that reached 53 miles per hour caused extensive damage within the county. Two weeks after the storm, Athens-Clarke County Government has released a report on their response.

Before the storm hit, Athens-Clarke County decided to open an Emergency Operations Center. The central point operated out of the Athens-Clarke County Police Department Headquarters.

Facilities Management reported minor damage to several government buildings including the Courthouse, City Hall, Dougherty Street Government Buildings, and two fire stations.

Landscape Management worked until 1:00 A.M. Tuesday morning cleaning up 52 sites. In addition to the 1015 employee hours worked, they used 400 inmate hours to clear debris during normal working hours. 120 sites have been cleared, including tree and limb removal.

The Police Department received 1,409 calls during the storm, mainly involving debris and trees in the road and downed power lines. This was over three times the normal number of calls a day in August. The Fire and Emergency Services Department also responded to over 210 storm-related issues.

UGA Medical Reserve Corps also helped field calls. The non-emergency line provided locals with information 24/7 throughout the storm. The call center reopened last week to allow people in Athens to report private property damage. This information will be used to request federal relief assistance.

The full report can be found on the Athens-Clarke County website.




By: Mary Carol Butterfield


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