Hurricane Matthew news briefs for December 15th-21st

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Debris removal in private communities

Beaufort County has added 10 communities to its list of approved communities for hurricane-related debris removal.

Debris removal from Beaufort County private roads and rights-of-way, including gated communities, began on Tuesday, Oct. 18, by the county’s contractor, Ceres Environmental. The Federal Emergency Management Agency requires that the county receive a completed right of entry agreement before entering any private road or right-of-way.

The county has approved debris removal operations for 63 private communities, and the following are pending approval: Fig Beach Club; Shadow Moss POA; Battery Townhomes; Cedar Cove at Haig Point; Islands of Beaufort; Mariner Horizontal Property Regime; Meridian Cottages; Olde Tabby Park; and The Preserve at Woodbridge. The following communities have withdrawn applications: Hampton Hall Club; Old Point Townhouse Condominiums Association Inc.; and Westgate Circle.

The county is working with FEMA to process the additional applications.

Currently, Ceres has removed more than 900,000 cubic yards of debris from public and private roads and rights-of-way throughout Beaufort County.

Debris removal operations from rights-of-way should be complete by the end of February. Marine debris removal operations are expected to take longer.

Visit beaufortcountydisasterrecovery.net.

Convenience centers accepting non-storm waste

All Beaufort County Convenience Centers have resumed accepting limited amounts of non-storm generated yard waste (Class 1).

Class 1 waste accepted at Convenience Centers includes small limbs, leaves and landscape trimmings.

Capacity for this material is limited. No trailers or large loads will be accepted.

Residents who wish to drop off waste in bags should use paper bags. Waste in plastic bags will need to be emptied at the time of drop off.

Debris removal contractors are making the second pass through the county. Residents are asked to sort Class 1 and Class 2 debris into separate piles on the right-of-way at their residence for collection.

The separation categories for debris placed at rights-of-way are:

· Class 1 debris includes tree limbs and tree logs cut into sections.

· Class 2 debris includes building materials, drywall, lumber, carpet, furniture, mattresses and plumbing items.

The county advises residents not to block fire hydrants, stormwater ditches or utility boxes when placing items at the right-of-way.

Visit www.co.beaufort.sc.us and click on “Departments,” then click on “Solid Waste and Recycle.”

Experts: Look at your flood insurance

Flood recovery specialists are encouraging Hurricane Matthew disaster survivors to take a close look at their flood insurance policies.

A sometimes overlooked section may help some of them with flood damage to rebuild as required to meet new building codes.

Claims for “Increased Cost of Compliance” benefits are filed separately from claims for contents or building loss.

The coverage provides up to $30,000 to help cover the cost of bringing a home or business into compliance with new floodplain ordinances enacted after the structure was built.

Claims for Increased Cost of Compliance, often known simply as ICC, can be filed if the floodplain administrator determines the insured structure is “substantially damaged” by flooding. This means that costs to repair the building to its pre-disaster condition equal or exceed 50 percent of the market value of the building.

For more information on ICC coverage, contact the insurance company providing the flood insurance or call the National Flood Insurance Program.

Visit www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program.

Rental assistance is still available

Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) understand that some Hurricane Matthew survivors may need additional temporary rental assistance.

All applicants who received temporary rental assistance from FEMA should have received a “Declaration for Continuing Need for Rental Assistance” letter.

This form is mailed 15 days after applicants receive their initial rental assistance grant and explains how to request additional temporary rental assistance from FEMA.

To receive additional temporary rental assistance as quickly as possible, applicants must:

• Complete the “Declaration for Continuing Need for Rental Assistance” form and mail it back to FEMA.

• Provide information on pre-disaster income and current expenses.

• Include a copy of their signed lease and the name and phone number of their landlord.

• Include a copy of their pre-disaster lease, if they were renters prior to Hurricane Matthew.

Applicants who have questions or whose housing needs have changed since registering with FEMA should contact FEMA’s toll-free Helpline at 800-621-3362.

Lines are open every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. until further notice.

Literacy Center helps families after hurricane 

Following Hurricane Matthew, residents of several badly and dangerously damaged apartment complexes had to be evacuated.

The residents are some of the most disadvantaged families in Beaufort County and were fearful about leaving their homes.

According to the center, some didn’t understand where they were being rehoused or what would happen to their belongings.

Apartment management contacted The Literacy Center for help. Immediately requests for interpreters and translators were posted on social media and in its classrooms.