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Local News

Okaloosa County announces special debris removal effort after recent storms

Destin, Florida – In response to the recent storm damage on May 10, 2024, Okaloosa County has announced plans to begin an extensive debris removal effort starting May 28, 2024. This initiative aims to provide immediate relief to residents affected by the storm, which caused significant damage to homes and led to numerous downed trees across the area.

Expanded Debris Removal Services

Typically, Okaloosa County does not handle large-scale debris removal for events like this unless a local emergency declaration triggers the involvement of a debris contractor. However, given the circumstances, the County Public Works Road maintenance crews will undertake this task themselves. This decision comes even though the damage was not severe enough to require a local emergency declaration for a major disaster response.

The debris removal operations will focus on County-maintained roads and are expected to last about one week. Residents are asked to be patient while the Public Works crews progress through the affected areas to clear the debris.

Read also: Emerald Coast Open sees major success in lionfish removal despite rough weather

While Okaloosa County has been included in the state of emergency declared by the Governor in Executive Order 24-95, further actions are necessary for additional funding to assist local governments, businesses, and individuals. These actions involve assessments from various agencies and potentially a federal “major disaster” declaration, depending on whether certain damage thresholds are met.

Guidelines for Residents

Residents serviced by Waste Management (WM) will continue to have their yard waste picked up during regular service collection days. WM stipulates that yard trash, which cannot be contained in bags or cans, should be no more than 4 inches in diameter and no longer than 6 feet. It must also be placed in bundles, piles, or stacks weighing no more than 50 pounds.

For those living along state-designated roadways such as U.S. Highway 90, State Road 4, and State Road 189, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) should be contacted to coordinate debris removal. Residents on private roadways are responsible for contracting directly with debris removal services.

The County extends its gratitude to all residents for their patience and cooperation during this cleanup effort. The initiative is part of Okaloosa County’s commitment to ensuring the safety and cleanliness of the community in the aftermath of natural disasters.

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