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Dealing with debris

One of the largest tasks after a storm will be collecting debris.

More than 3 million cubic yards was collected after the three 2004-2005 storms just by the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County. That’s about what the authority normally collects in two years.

The same amount was collected by area municipalities across Palm Beach County.

And debris also swamped agencies and towns in Martin and St. Lucie counties.

It can take several weeks to get everything. You can help.

Don’t call! Everyone is in the same hurry, but collectors can work only so fast.

Agencies and municipalities will provide updates through the media.

ITEMS FOR PICKUP

The first priority will be household garbage. It might take three to six weeks for them to pick up debris.

Get everything to the curb as quickly as is safely possible.

At the curb, separate household garbage, recyclables, vegetation (yard trash) and “construction materials” — lumber, concrete, wood fence pieces, etc.

Secure household garbage in plastic bags or cans and place at the curb on your scheduled collection day.

COLLECTIONS

Collectors could make as many as three or four passes, each time collecting a different type of debris, or skip your home altogether if trucks are full. Be patient. They haven’t forgotten you.

Never place debris near or on a fence, mailbox, power line equipment, poles, transformers, downed wires, water meters, or storm drains.

Agencies use cranes, loaders and other heavy equipment that will damage these items. And hidden electrical hazards can injure or kill workers.

Between the debris sitting on it for weeks, and the heavy equipment snatching up debris, you can probably count on having to fill and/or resod your swale.

REIMBURSEMENTS

FEMA will provide some reimbursement to area agencies and municipalities for storm debris cleanup.

But neither you nor your homeowners association will be reimbursed if you hire a private contractor.

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The Latest News Headlines

  • JEA is investigating a 1-million-gallon sewage leak it says was the result of vandalism.  The leak happened here at a lift station along Lenox Avenue near Interstate 295 and Normandy Boulevard, and neighbors miles away are dealing with the stench  After the raw sewage leaked into the Wills Branch of the Cedar River, JEA issued a strong warning to neighbors: no drinking, swimming or fishing.  Amber Smythe and her family live along a nearby creek where some of the sewage ended up.  “There’s been like, a sewage smell coming from the creek behind our house,” Smythe said.  Smythe’s husband sometimes fishes in the creek and even though they don’t eat the fish, Smythe --the mother of two and expecting her third -- said the leak is a concern.  JEA said the leak was caused by wire and rags clogging the sewer line. It is investigating but believes the clog was intentional.  “You ride through here at night, all the roads, and you’ll be like, aw man. It's bad at night, it's bad at night,” Jacob Ellenburg said.  Ellenburg lives next to where the leak happened. He said there’s always a smell but the last few days have been especially bad.  Ellenburg said, “You don’t want to drive without your little circulatory air. Driving past here, you want to keep where it’s not fresh air coming in, 'cause it’s not fresh.'  JEA and the state Department of Environmental Protection are investigating.
  • An American Airlines pilot died Wednesday after he suffered an apparent medical emergency on a flight from Dallas to Albuquerque, New Mexico, airline and airport officials said. >> Read more trending news The pilot was identified as American Airlines first officer William “Mike” Grubbs, a company spokeswoman told the Albuquerque Journal. “We’re taking care of first officer Grubbs’ family and colleagues, and our thoughts and prayers are with them during this time,” the spokeswoman said. Grubbs, who was based in Dallas, collapsed in the cockpit Wednesday afternoon as the crew of Flight 1353 prepared to land in Albuquerque, WFAA reported. Dan Jiron, a spokesman for Albuquerque International Sunport, told KOB that the flight crew warned of a medical emergency as the plane approached Albuquerque. After it landed, authorities found Grubbs dead. Jiron told the Journal that the emergency didn’t affect the airport. No passengers were injured.
  • For the fourth time in the past six days, President Donald Trump has used his platform on Twitter to take a swing at a group of more conservative Republicans in the House, this time raising the specter of using the bully pulpit against them in the 2018 elections, if they don’t get on board with his legislative agenda. “The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, & fast,” Trump said on Twitter. “We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!” he added. The Twitter jabs against the Freedom Caucus are becoming somewhat routine for Mr. Trump, who was frustrated that he was unable to convince those lawmakers to back a GOP health care bill last week. Even before today, those type of tweets by the President have drawn frowns from some members of the Freedom Caucus, who say they’re not budging on their conservative principles, just to give Mr. Trump a legislative victory. “I disagree with him,” Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) said earlier this week, after Mr. Trump signaled his displeasure with the Freedom Caucus opposition to the GOP health bill. “My conscience was to get rid of Obamacare; this doesn’t do it,” Yoho said of the GOP plan that had the blessing of the White House. “Some of the constant tweeting is at minimum distracting, and at maximum, counterproductive to a legislative agenda,” said Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC), who also knocked the President for using Twitter to keep grousing as well about Hillary Clinton. “You’re fighting yesterday’s story if you are fighting against a candidate you were once running against that is no longer the candidate you might be running against,” Sanford said.
  • A principal at a Christian school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is facing child porn charges. Jeff Goss is the principal at the Christian Education Alliance in west Tulsa. Goss was arrested Tuesday morning by federal officials after they reportedly caught Goss using an online application to view child pornography. >> Watch the news report here Authorities said the application lets people enter chat rooms and share videos, pictures and more. Agents from Phoenix said Goss showed his face in the chat room, and they were able to track his IP address. Goss reportedly confessed to using the app at least five times. >> Read more trending news Agents said he preferred children ages 10 to 12 and did not care if they were girls or boys. Goss allegedly told officers that he primarily teaches children ages 12 and 13. School officials said they did not find out about the allegations against Goss until FOX23.com called them. They said he did not show up to work Wednesday. The station confirmed that he is in the Tulsa County Jail. The school's website says that it has served home-school families for more than 20 years.
  • Fire crews are still working to control a massive wildfire that destroyed homes and rattled lives in rural Nassau County.The Bryceville wildfire is 96 percent contained as of Wednesday after burning 700 acres. #bryceville aftermath. pic.twitter.com/oBPXYvJQmA-- Cole Heath (@ColeANjax) March 29, 2017 TRENDING: Nearly 50 dachshunds rescued, looking for forever homes 'As we're leaving the house, the house was catching on fire. We were seconds away,' victim Dalton Megois said while standing over the charred ground where his family's home once stood. A home once stood here. #brycevillefire pic.twitter.com/PwIuqKnZFU-- Cole Heath (@ColeANjax) March 29, 2017 Megois and his family lost everything after investigators say someone illegally burning books accidentally started the massive wildfire. Family loses everything in #brycevillefire. Homeowner says he's listened to 'this ain't nothing' by @cmorganmusic 100s of times since pic.twitter.com/GwCg5BdT8v-- Cole Heath (@ColeANjax) March 29, 2017 'We have no ill will towards (the man responsible). It could have been any of us,' Megois said. A look at the #brycevillefire at its peak. @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/uz9PuhQdg2-- Cole Heath (@ColeANjax) March 29, 2017 '(The investigation is) ongoing, we still continue to investigate to see if criminal action will be taken,' Florida Forest Service spokesperson Annaleasa Winter said. More from Bryceville. pic.twitter.com/jifIk2ChhH-- Cole Heath (@ColeANjax) March 30, 2017 The Florida Forest Service tells Action News Jax the man responsible for starting the fire is also responsible for paying back the Forest Service for services rendered by the agency. That can be anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000 Donations for the #bryceville fire victims pouring in. pic.twitter.com/5FzqxDBH1f-- Cole Heath (@ColeANjax) March 30, 2017 'The suppression bill we issue won't be tallied up until the fire is out,' Winter said.That man responsible for starting the fire, who investigators have not named yet, could also face misdemeanor charges once the investigation wraps up in a few months. LOCAL NEWS: Man uses baseball bat to free 2-month-old left in hot car at Jacksonville Lowe's Meanwhile, the Florida Forest Service tweeted out information about how people can get a wildfire assessment for their property. Interested parties should call (904) 266-8362. Concerned about wildfires? The Florida Forest Service does home wildfire hazard assessments & can talk to your community group (904)266-8362 pic.twitter.com/c1D7Idk7We-- FFS_Jacksonville (@FFS_Jax) March 28, 2017

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