Many people think that a hurricane is over when the skies clear. However, most of Florida now knows that the effects of a hurricane are long-lasting. Hurricane Irma did great damage to Florida, including Palm Beach County. Find out how the county is recovering after the monster hurricane turned the county upside down.
Recovery Efforts from Hurricane Irma
1. Debris Removal
After Hurricane Irma hit, the streets of Palm Beach County were unrecognizable. Tree branches and other debris littered the streets. While many people have made an effort to clean up the debris, there’s nowhere to put it all.
Every day, there are about 400 trucks making their way through the county. But those trucks may not be enough to get the job done. The county can only afford to remove so much debris every month. Additionally, many removal trucks are unavailable because they’re cleaning up other counties in Florida. The county can only clear away so much of the aftermath of Irma.
The Solid Waste Authority of West Palm Beach County claims that it may take up to three months to remove all the debris piles from the storm. However, they do offer an alternative. You can remove debris yourself and bring it to the Solid Waste Authority site in West Palm Beach. In exchange for dumping our debris, you need to pay a dumping fee. That fee varies. For vegetation, you can expect to pay $4.50 per cubic yard.
2. Power and water
As of this week, power is not an issue in most of the county. However, that wasn’t the case immediately after the storm. Hurricane Irma left 60,000 people in the county without power. Days after the hurricane hit, 18,000 people still remained without power.
While power has been restored to most people, it was a long wait. Utility crews worked overtime to ensure that people had power to their homes. Another issue was water. Some people with well water had damage to their wells. People on city water in some towns had to deal with a boil water notice after Irma hit.
3. Property damage
One of the most devastating effects of Hurricane Irma was the property damage. While the damage in the county wasn’t as widespread as people expected, some people faced serious damage. Some homes suffered from roof damage, water damage, and more. Fixing that damage isn’t easy, and it isn’t cheap.
If you suffered from property damage during the hurricane, there are a few things you should do. First, you should contact your insurance company. You may have coverage for more than you think. Then, you should have a public adjuster assess your damage. He can let your insurance company know the value of your damage. If you do choose to go through your insurance, you should act quickly. The sooner you file a claim, the sooner they will help you.
Another important thing you should do is to look for water damage. Even a little water damage can cause a big problem. Water leads to mold, and mold can have many toxic effects on your health and your home. Have someone evaluate the water damage in your home and look for mold.
Finally, you should consider applying for FEMA assistance. Don’t allow your income to discourage you. FEMA offers assistance to people who were affected by the hurricane. You may be eligible for money for lodging, repairing damage, and more. There is help out there; you just need to know where to look.
How long before the county fully recovers?
There’s no way to say for sure how long it will take to recover fully. However, it’s not a matter of days or weeks. It’s a matter of months and years. FEMA warned that Houston could take years to recover from the effects of Hurricane Harvey. Although Irma may not have been as devastating for Palm Beach County, you can expect a long recovery.
While some people saw minimal damage from Hurricane Irma, others had their homes destroyed. Those people need to pick up the pieces and start over from scratch. In addition to finding a new place to live, they need to figure out their finances.
Businesses also need to recover. Some storefronts faced incredible damage and still have their doors closed. With such damage, it could be months before people start to recover. On the outside, Palm Beach County might put on a happy face. But on the inside, it will need time to recover.
That said, Palm Beach County is resilient. If Hurricane Irma taught us anything, it’s that the community here is as strong as it can be. People came together to help one another during a tough time. They joined forces and made the best of a terrible situation With such a strong support system, the county can recover and be better than ever. Palm Beach County may have been hit hard by Irma, but it’s already in recovery mode.