Emergency ordinance helps to make storm debris cleanup easier

Emergency ordinance helps to make storm debris cleanup easier

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) -The City of Florence is now operating on an emergency ordinance that is geared to help clear debris left over from Hurricane Matthew.

For the next 60 days, that ordinance allows for the city to operate outside of some of the regular governing rules.

The city got out and assessed the damage and found there is more than 100,000 tons of storm debris left behind by the storm.

City officials said public works doesn’t have the equipment needed to collect and crush some of the massive trees that fell during the storm.

One thing that emergency ordinance does is it gets rid of regular bidding rules when it comes to hiring contractors. Instead of waiting weeks to get contractors working, city leaders can now hire them more quickly.

In addition to that change in debris removal, the city is now allowing for people to leave any storm debris on the curb for pick up.

“We urge patience because this cleanup process is going to take several months. We urge folks in the community to have patience with city department in addition to our utilities,” Florence Mayor Stephen Wukela said.

On Friday, Florence City council also addressed repairs being made to the city’s water system. City leaders said they are going to have to bring in contractors to make repairs to the water system.

If you remember we told you there were several major breaches that were caused by hurricane Matthew. Most of the issues happened when large trees were unearthed, and in the process, broke water pipes.

Because so much damage was done for some those pipes leading to homes in the community, the city is looking at a way to bill people at an equitable rate so those folks are not charged for leaks.

“There are meters that we can’t read. We know that there are folks who have bills that are likely astronomical because of the loss of water on their end, due to ruptures from trees and so forth. The council gave the city manager in this two-month period to respond those in a more flexible way,” Wukela said.

You’ll notice that possible change in you December water bill.

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