Debris, Traffic Signal, and Power Restoration Update
Wednesday, September 13th, 2017
Tropical Storm Irma has completely moved out of the Macon-Bibb County area, and the process of recovery and restoration has begun in earnest. Complete recovery – full power restoration, debris and tree removal, offices and businesses fully open, and more – will take several days, if not more.
“Irma did significant damage across Macon-Bibb County, and it has impacted us all in some way,” says Emergency Management Agency Director Spencer Hawkins. “We’re asking for people’s patience as our crews clear the roads, collect the large amount of debris on the ground, and assist our utilities. There’s a lot that needs to be done, and we are all working together in this effort.”
Crews from multiple departments began clearing trees and debris from the roads at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, September 11, working through the night and continuing into Tuesday. During that time, crews cleared 62 of 102 reported roads that were closed due to debris. The remaining 40 involve power lines, and the departments are coordinating with Georgia Power to get those cleared safely and quickly. To report trees and debris in the road, use the phone numbers listed below under “Reporting Issues.”
Since Macon-Bibb crews cannot work on private property, people should move debris to the curb where the equipment can reach it. (The Walker Road Landfill can NOT accept tree debris for disposal.) People should follow the below guidelines when placing debris and material on the curb so that it can be picked up.
All tree trucks, limbs, and branches must be cut four feet or less in length.
Limbs and branches are to be placed at curbside in their own pile.
Tree trunks are to be placed in their own pile.
Do not mix limbs, branches, and trunks with other solid waste.
Place building materials at the curbside in separate pile.
Put leaves and pine straw in their own bags or trash can.
Traffic signals & signs
All of Macon-Bibb’s traffic signal technicians from the Facilities Management Department were out today working on getting traffic lights working again, and conducting an inventory of what signs needed repairing or replacing. If a traffic light is blinking, they are being fixed by Facilities Management. If the lights are not on, there is no power there and will be fixed once power is restored. To report traffic lights and broken or missing traffic signs, use the phone numbers listed below under “Reporting Issues.”
The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind all motorists to treat these intersections as a 4-Way Stop. When approaching an intersection where the traffic lights are out or on flash, drivers need to stop before entering the intersection.
On Tuesday, Facilities Management’s five crews of technicians fixed the traffic signals at 26 intersections (either repairing, replacing, untwisting, or getting them to stop flashing), and are currently working on 13 more intersections. The total number needing to be fixed and the extent to which they need to be fixed is unknown as reports continue to come in, and crews won’t know full extent of the damage for some of them until power is restored. Once it gets dark, crews won’t be able to work on the lights anymore so will resume operations at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
Georgia Power began their work Monday night, and as of 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, there were about 39,000 homes and businesses without power in Macon-Bibb County. That’s down from about 43,000 Tuesday morning and 55,000 Monday evening. To report or check an outage, see “Reporting Issues” below.
Georgia Power reminds people to never touch any downed wire or attempt to remove tree braches from power lines; it can kill.
If there is a tree down, fallen traffic signal or sign in your neighborhood, please report it 478-832-6300 until 8:00 p.m. tonight and between 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. Outside of those hours, people can call 478-751-7500. To report a power outage to Georgia Power, go to http://outagemap.georgiapower.com or call 888-891-0938.
Trash & Recycling Collection
During debris removal operations, Solid Waste will not be picking up any bulky yard waste on their regular routes because the equipment will be dedicated to debris. Containerized yard waste (in trash bags or cans) will be picked up. Trash and recycling pickup will be a day behind this week. (Monday’s pickup on Tuesday, Friday’s pick up Saturday.)
Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority
The Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority will be running a modified schedule on the following routes: Ocmulgee, East Macon and North Highland.
The MTA management team met earlier this morning and inspected all ten routes that serve our residents. With the exception of the three previously mentioned, all routes will run pretty close to their maps. The time schedules may be different due to the buses not getting on the street until after 10:00 this morning. Please direct any scheduling questions to the Transit Center at 478-803-2504.
Bibb County School District
After making preliminary assessments of power outages and damages to buildings, the Bibb County School District has made the decision to close schools and buildings on Wednesday, September 13. Currently, 10 schools do not have power and about 20 percent of bus routes are impacted by debris and downed power lines.