By NewsLine Staff
mail@floridanewsline.com

In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, St. Johns County has launched a dedicated website and social media campaign to help local residents and businesses track the debris removal program and know when their neighborhoods will be serviced next. Located at www.sjcfl.us/hurricanematthewcleanup, the website provides progress updates, a pick-up schedule listing specific streets to be served, and a real-time map that allows visitors to track which areas have already received an initial pickup of debris.

In addition, the site will provide collection guidelines to help residents and businesses ensure their debris is ready to be picked up, an update on the beach cleanup program and debris totals. The site and the county’s social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will be updated several times a week to ensure residents have the most current information.

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When Hurricane Matthew impacted St. Johns County on Oct. 7, 2016 as a Category 3 storm, it left a trail of destruction in its wake. Almost without exception, every area of the county suffered damage and is experiencing an accumulation of debris including fallen limbs and trees, household items, business debris, and now demolition and new construction materials.

The county placed both public and private trucks on the streets and began the cleanup effort as soon as first responders declared the community safe for reentry. In addition to the emergency response debris removal contractors, St. Johns County’s regular trash and recycling companies, Advanced Disposal and Republic Services are also assisting with the cleanup efforts. Once homeowners and businesses began clearing properties and cleaning out flooded homes, the initial debris estimates increased exponentially.

In response, the Board of County Commissioners allocated an additional $1 million for debris collection on Oct. 18. The additional funding allowed the county to expedite storm, demolition and construction debris collection efforts and increased the number of active collection trucks working in the community seven days a week. Six regional debris staging areas were also created throughout the county to increase operational efficiency and remove the debris from private properties and public right-of-ways as quickly as possible.

According to the Emergency Management Debris Removal Plan, every street in St. Johns County will receive an initial pickup of debris by early November, with subsequent passes being conducted as needed for those areas with substantial damage until all storm-related debris has been removed. The county intends to work within a methodical plan that addresses the hardest-hit areas first. The county currently has 60 work crews collecting debris throughout the community and has collected 158,000 cubic yards of materials to date.

Contact St. Johns County at (904) 827-6980 or matthewcleanup@sjcfl.us with any questions or concerns.

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