Debris, Traffic Signal, and Power Restoration Update

Staff Report From Middle Georgia CEO

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

The recovery from Hurricane Irma continued late into Tuesday night and all day Wednesday. Complete recovery – full power restoration, debris and tree removal, offices and businesses fully open, and more – will take several days, if not more.

“The recovery efforts are ongoing, and I want to thank our community for the way it has pulled together to help each other and support our crews in the field clearing debris and fixing traffic lights,” says Emergency Management Director Spencer Hawkins. “The damage to our community spanned the entire county, and full recovery will not happen over night or even for the next several days. Our crews and partners are committed to getting Macon-Bibb back on its feet.”

For continued updates on Hurricane Irma and shelter operations, follow Macon-Bibb County EMA on Facebook and Twitter, and visit their website,

Roads Opening

Crews from multiple departments began clearing trees and debris from the roads at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, September 11, working through that night and in the following days. During that time, crews have cleared 75 of 145 reported roads that were closed due to debris. The remaining 70 involve power lines, and the Public Works Department is coordinating with Georgia Power to get those cleared safely and quickly.
The emergency call center is still receiving reports of impassable roads, and drivers with the Solid Waste Department riding their normal trash collection routes are also calling in any blocked roads they find. To report trees and debris in the road, use the phone numbers listed below under “Reporting Issues.”
Traffic signals

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.
Of the 254 intersections with the red/yellow/green lights, 237 are functioning. We have 17 that are dark waiting on power, and an additional eight intersections that have stop and go lights. 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.”
Power Restoration

Georgia Power began their work Monday night, and as of 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, there were 27,000 homes and businesses without power in Macon-Bibb County. That’s down from about 55,000 Monday evening. There are still about 43,000 still without power in Central Georgia and 284,000 in Georgia. 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.
Reporting Issues

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 or call 888-891-0938.
Trash & Recycling Collection

Trash and recycling pickup will be a day behind this week. (Monday’s pickup on Tuesday, Friday’s pick up Saturday.) 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.
Evacuation Shelter Update

By the end of the day Wednesday, only Theron Ussery Recreation Center (851 North Macon Park Drive) and East Macon Recreation Center (3326 Ocmulgee East Boulevard) remained open with evacuees. People began returning home Tuesday morning, and the shelters at Frank Johnson, Memorial Park, and Rosa Jackson Recreation Centers have been closed.
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

Based on assessments of continued power outages and blocked roads, the Bibb County School District has made the decision to close schools and buildings for the rest of the week. Schools will reopen on Monday, September 18. Currently, 6 schools – Heard, Northwoods, Porter, Riley, Taylor, Southwest – do not have power and about 42 percent of bus routes are impacted by debris and downed power lines.
No decision has been made at this time, but parents and staff should be prepared for makeup days at some point during the school year, Superintendent Dr. Curtis Jones has advised.