Hurricane Michael Recovery Update #13

as of 10/24/2018

Citizen’s Information Line, 8AM-7PM – 850-849-5766 or 850-849-5788.

Updated Information Highlighted in Yellow

Openings & Closures

  • State courts in Washington County: closed through Wed., Oct. 24. No jury service during the week of Oct. 22.
  • The City of Chipley is open and will not be assessing penalties nor disconnecting services for non-payment this month. Gas is online in the City of Chipley; call 850-638-6350 to have it turned on. Contact a vendor for natural gas repairs beyond the gas meter, the city does not work on piping or appliances but can witness a pressure test and check for code violations. The City of Chipley has lifted their boil water advisory from Saturday.     

Water for Livestock – Call 850-597-3913 between 7AM-4PM to request water for livestock or animals in critical need. This water is not for human consumption, it is for animals only.

Supply Points of Distribution (PODs) – The following locations are distributing water, MREs (meals ready to eat) and misc. supplies:

  • Shepherd’s Gate Church- 1840 Pettis Rd., Chipley, FL

Oct. 22- 6 8AM – 4 PM            

Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) – A FEMA Disaster Recovery Center is set up at the Washington County Ag Center 7 days a week from 8 AM – 7 PM.  You can find information about FEMA programs, other disaster assistance programs, apply for federal disaster assistance, and ask questions related to your case.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance – The Disaster Unemployment Assistance program provides unemployment benefits to those unemployed as a direct result of presidentially declared major disasters. Call 877- 872-5627 or visit www.benefits.gov.

Need a Volunteer, Want to Volunteer or Want to Donate?

Please do not self-deploy to volunteer and or collect donations without knowing what is needed, where it is needed or having a plan to store and distribute. Contact Joan Brown, volunteer and donation manager, 480-694-2353 or email joanbrown117@gmail.com to:

  • Volunteer to assist the people of Washington County (or register at www.volunteerflorida.org)
  • To request volunteers to tarp your roof, remove trees, or other manpower need
  • To make a donation of goods or services

Price Gouging – Report price gouging to 866-966-7226 or http://myfloridalegal.com.

Debris Pickup – For questions regarding debris pickup, call 850-703-3414 between 8AM and 4PM

  • Crews have begun pickup in a central location and systematically move throughout the county.
  • Debris pickup includes all municipalities within the county.
  • Once the crews make one complete pass, additional passes will be made to pick up extra debris.
  • Residents will be notified when crews make a final pass.
  • Crews will begin picking up vegetative debris only. Please cut logs less than 8 feet long.
  • Vegetative debris cannot be mixed with treated lumber, fencing, construction or demolition debris.
  • Debris should be stacked on right-of-way where crews can easily access.
  • Do not stack debris under power lines, low-hanging limbs, near mailboxes, fire hydrants, water meters, etc.
  • Crews are NOT ALLOWED to go on to private property to remove debris.
  • Pickup will be from dusk to dawn and vehicles will be placarded with the Crowder Gulf logo.

Waste Management –Set any extra trash in bags by the street away from debris and utilities.

Power Restoration – Downed powerlines pose a threat as power is restored.

  • Treat any downed wire as if it is energized because you can’t tell by looking if a downed wire is live or not. Avoid anything a downed line is touching.
  • Telephone or cable television wires that are touching a power line could become energized and should also be avoided.
  • Downed lines can energize anything metal, including flashing, sheds, awnings and chain link fences. Trees can also be energized.
  • Stay clear of areas where there is a lot of debris or downed trees because it could conceal an energized power line. Be careful when cleaning up yard debris or trimming trees.
  • Standing water (puddles from flooding and rain) may be energized from a downed line. Be careful not to touch or step in water near where a downed power line is located. If a downed line is near water — even a small puddle — stay well away.
  • Don’t attempt to remove or repair the electrical system or pull tree limbs off lines. Let our trained work crews perform this potentially dangerous work.

For outage details, visit:

  • Gulf Power Outage Map, www.gulfpower.com/outages. As of Monday, 95% of Gulf Power customers in Washington County, who can safely accept electric service, have been restored.
  • West Florida Electric Outage Map, www.westflorida.coop/outage-alert. As of 9 a.m. Tuesday, the cooperative’s restoration figures for Washington County were: 2,713 meters restored (63%). Members can now report their outages by calling 844.OUTAGE1 (844.688.2431). This is the automated system so you will not reach a live operator, but your outage will be reported. The co-op is already aware of multiple outages across our service area, but this will allow members peace of mind that their individual outages have been reported.
  • Gulf Coast Electric Outage Map, www.gcec.com. As of 9 a.m. Tuesday, the cooperative had the following outage numbers: Washington County: 109 meters (4%). Many homes and businesses are damaged to the point that they will not be able to accept service once it becomes available. Because all efforts are focused on power restoration, GCEC office lobbies are closed until further notice. Due to the damage that GCEC offices received during the storm, service to the online bill pay system at www.gcec.com and phone system is intermittent. Repairs are being made to restore communications.

Roof Tarps – Roof tarps are available M-F from 8AM to 3PM at Orange Hill Fire Department, Sunny Hills Fire Department, and Vernon Fire Department.

Hot Meals – The Salvation Army is serving lunches at the Wausau Assembly of God, corner of Pioneer and Hwy. 77 thru Sunday, October 28, 2018.

Housing Assistance – Emergency housing funds are available with the Washington County SHIP program for those who meet for income requirements. Call Karen Shaw, 850-638-6058 or kshaw@washingtonfl.com.

FEMA Assistance –   Apply online at www.disasterassistance.gov, call 800-621-3362 or download app from FEMA.gov.

US Army Corps of Engineers Operation Blue Roof- For more information, visit www.usace.army.mil or call 1-888-766-3258.

Documenting Damage – Photograph storm damage to your home before making temporary repairs to prevent further damage. Keep all documents and receipts for insurance or FEMA assistance claim.

General tips for hiring contractors include:

  • Get a written estimate.
  • Check references.
  • Ask for proof of insurance.
  • Use only licensed contractors.
  • Insist on a written contract.
  • Get guarantees in writing
  • Obtain a local building permit, if required.
  • Make final payments after work is completed.
  • Pay by check