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Hurricane Matthew: Tuesday update
Tree down
Downed trees across Bryan County continue to be an issue as power is slowly restored and other services such as trash collection resume. - photo by Ted O'Neil

Here is the latest information about power outages, water, debris pickup and other items.

For customers on municipal water systems in the cities of Pembroke and Richmond Hill and the unincorporated portions of Bryan County, there are no problems reported and no boil advisories have been issued. For that reason, there are no water distribution plans in place.

For customers on private water systems in any part of the county, check with your management company about any boil advisories or water distribution plans.

Household trash pickup resumed in the city of Richmond Hill Monday and begins today in the unincorporated portion of Bryan County. Residents in the unincorporated county areas can use both their trash bins and recycling bins for household trash. Recycling collection in the county and Richmond Hill are suspended until further notice.

The city of Richmond Hill reported a spill of about 1,000 gallons of wastewater Sunday when a sewer lift station in the Piercefield subdivision lost power. The spill was discharged into a storm water sewer at the intersection of Dove Court and Quail Lane, which drains into Sterling Creek. Sterling Creek is a tributary of the Ogeechee River and municipalities are required to notify the local media of record when a spill occurs that reaches the waters of the state.

The city said crews responded within 25 minutes to address the situation and prevented an additional 1,000 gallons of wastewater from reaching Sterling Creek.

Both trash and recycling collection in Pembroke are on hold for now. Bill Collins, emergency management coordinator for Pembroke, said there are still too many downed powerlines to allow for collection, but he hopes it will resume next week.

There are still about 750 Georgia Power and about 1,000 Canoochee EMC customers in North Bryan County without service. In South Bryan County, about 130 Georgia Power customers and 275 Coastal Electric Cooperative customers lack service.

“We were fortunate to have been able to restore power to more than 50 percent of the four-county system within the first 24 hours,” said Mark Bolton, vice president of communications for Coastal Electric. “At the end of the second day we were up to 73 percent. The last two days are expectedly slower because now we’re down to the areas of worst damage. With an estimated 100 broken poles to replace crews will spend two to three hours on each pole, often to only restore power to an individual or their immediate neighbors.”

Debris collection throughout the county has begun. Scott Allison, assistant city manager for Richmond Hill, said crews will continue moving throughout the city — including on private property such as The Ford Plantation — doing curbside collection.

“It may take a while because people who are back to work are slowly cleaning up their property in the evenings, but if they get it to the curb we’ll pick it up,” Allison said.

A countywide burn ban remains in place.

As the Bryan County News reported Monday, Congressman Buddy Carter and State Reps. Jesse Petrea and Ron Stephens worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency to allow Bryan County to begin collecting debris that will be taken to the landfill on Fort McAllister Road. The two agencies had originally said the debris could not be collected until it was inventoried.

As a safety precaution, people using gas-powered generators should never place them indoors and should not plug them directly into a building as this could send electrical current back through lines that workers are handling. 

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