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Bibb Co. Official: 43,000 without power, 35,000 cubic yards of debris cleared

The Macon-Bibb County Emergency Operations Center was the command center for storm preparation and response / Eric Mock (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- Cleanup and recovery efforts began Tuesday in Macon-Bibb County after Tropical Storm Irma came through the area Monday.

Tropical storm force winds pushed through the area, bringing down trees and power lines and knocking out power for tens of thousands of Bibb County residents.

On Tuesday, Chris Floore, assistant to the county manager for public affairs, said that about 43,000 people are still without power in the county. He said that crews with public works and with Georgia Power are out working to restore power but that they are asking for the public's patience.

"This is going to take several days to get back up and running but they are out today diligently working to get the power lines fixed and get the grid back up and running," he said.

He said that many traffic lights in the county were knocked out and encouraged anyone who comes across one of these intersections to treat it like a four-way stop.

Floore said that the storm closed a total of 92 roads in the county, but that crews working in the dark through the night to remove debris have cleared 58 of those roads and allowed them to reopen.

He said that so far, the Public Works Department has cleared 35,000 cubic yards of debris.

Floore said that the county is not permitted to go onto private property to remove debris, so he said that anyone who has trees down in their yard should cut it down into pieces less than four yards long and pile it on their curb. He said the solid waste department will come pick up all of the debris as part of their removal program instead of on the regular waste pickup day.

Additionally, he said that all waste pickup will be pushed back by a day, meaning that trash that is normally picked up on Monday will be picked up on Tuesday, and so on.

Floore praised the crews from Georgia Power and the county's internal department crews that went out Monday night and started again early Tuesday morning to assess damage and begin cleaning up.

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