Updated Post-Hurricane Irma Information
Updated Information as of 9/19/17 at 4:51 p.m.
- All library branches are up and running. Phone service has been restored at the East branch.
- All city parks are open to the public except for Moccasin Lake. There are numerous trees that are still down on the walking trails.
- All recreation centers are open at this time except Ross Norton Recreation Center, which was used as a shelter. Ross Norton will reopen on Wednesday.
- It is best to use flashlights instead of candles.
- Residents need to use caution when using a generator. Some tips to prevent a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning:
- NEVER run a generator in an enclosed space or indoors
- Don’t run a portable generator in the rain
- Before refueling, turn off a gasoline-powered generator and let it cool
- Stock up on extra gasoline and store it properly
- Avoid electrical hazards. If you must use an extension cord, it should be a heavy-duty one for outdoor use
- Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include a flushed face, difficulty breathing, a rapid pulse and even headaches. If you experience these symptoms seek fresh air immediately and call 9-1-1.
- Do not buy dryer (pigtails) electric cords to plug generators into a home's main electric panels to power a home. This can energize the lines back to the main transformer and downed lines and can electrocute power workers. It can also destroy a home generator if power workers test the lines before working on them.
- If you have no power, please make sure you turn off your appliances. Power can return unexpectedly and items placed on stovetops, for example, can catch fire.
- Please use extreme caution when using candles. Pets and children can knock over candles. Battery operated flashlights and lanterns are safer.
- Steer clear of any downed wires. It's impossible to tell whether they are energized. Please report to the power company.
- Don't touch metal fences. Downed power lines can energize fences and make them dangerous.
- Residents can pick up a carbon monoxide detector for free at station 45 and 48.
Trash, Recycling and Debris Pick Up
- Solid Waste will pick up trash and recycling as they can on people’s regular pick-up day. Black and blue barrel trash and recycling collections will be collected on time. This does not include yard waste.
- Yard waste and hurricane debris collection is taking longer than normal. Yard waste includes tree limbs, branches, brush, broken fences, playground equipment, old appliances, etc. Solid Waste crews are working 12-hour shifts to clear yard waste as quickly as they can. Crews have started collecting yard waste/hurricane debris in the northern-most area of Clearwater around Curlew Road and are working their way south; this is the “Monday” route, and they are still working on it as of 9/18. After that, they will begin clearing yard waste/hurricane debris for those whose collection day is Tuesday. The time to clear the city one full time of yard waste/hurricane debris collection is estimated to take approximately four to six weeks. Yard/hurricane debris questions can go to Solid Waste Operations at (727) 562-4920.
- The city has hired a debris contractor to assist in yard waste/hurricane debris collection. By the end of the week, the contractor will begin clearing yard waste and hurricane debris from the western portion of the city (Clearwater Beach), and then their crews will push east once the beach has been cleared of storm debris. Clearing will continue from west and east until all of Clearwater has been cleared one time. This is estimated to take approximately four to six weeks.
- Storm debris can be taken to the Pinellas County Landfill Facility, 3095 114th Avenue North in St. Petersburg. It is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The phone number for the Pinellas County Landfill Facility is (727) 464-7500. There is a charge for landscape and other material. $10 per truck load unless you get weighed, then the fee is based upon the pound.
- City officials are asking people not to put debris into the roadways please. Residents should stack the debris along the curb, away from storm sewers and solid waste will pick it up as soon as they are able. We are currently having issues with residents putting debris back in the streets as soon as we are clearing the roads. When residents pile up debris for trash collection, please do not pile it up by fire hydrants.
- For trees down in city right of ways, citizens should call (727) 562-4800 or email Michele.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Residents are asked NOT to bag their yard waste and hurricane debris.
- The water is safe to drink.
- All of the city’s water plants are back online and are producing water at the same levels as prior to the storm.
- The city’s reclaimed water system is back online.
- Three of the city’s lift stations are still running on generators. If you notice a lift station that is not functioning problem, please call the 24-hour dispatch at (727) 462-6633.
- Please do not flush personal wipes or other hygiene products down the toilet.
- Clearwater Public Utilities reported a spill of approximately 338,000 gallons of secondary treated effluent at the Marshall Street Water Reclamation Facility, that flowed into Stevenson Creek. This took place 9/12 from 10:30-11:45 p.m.
Hiring of Contractors
- City of Clearwater would like to remind residents that anyone providing contracting services, under this state of emergency, must be currently licensed through the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Failure to comply with appropriate licensing requirements would be a FELONY under Florida State Statute 489.127. As always, citizens should use due diligence when selecting a contractor. Be cautious of contractors who have estimates that are much less than others.
- In Pinellas County, contractors must also be registered by the Pinellas County Contractors Licensing Board. There is a list of licensed contractors available on their website, pcclb.com.
- Residents should be mindful of businesses or individuals engaging in price gouging. Reports should be made by contacting the Attorney General's hotline at (866) 966-7226. The State of Florida's price gouging law prohibits extreme consumer cost increases in essential commodities such as food, fuel, ice, hotels, lumber, and water. Unlicensed contractors also face additional charges, and protections remain in effect for the duration of the declared emergency.
Damage to Homes/Housing
- There may be funding available to low- to moderate-income households for costs associated with Hurricane Irma that are not covered by insurance. Income qualifications apply. Qualifying expenditures include the purchase of emergency supplies to waterproof damaged homes; interim repairs to avoid further damage, such as tree and debris removal; and payment of insurance deductibles for rehabilitation of homes covered under homeowners’ insurance policies. For more information, call (727) 562-4056.
- Pinellas County residents with roof damage due to Hurricane Irma can sign up for Operation Blue Roof, a priority mission of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for FEMA. Sign-ups will take place at Indian Rocks Baptist Church, 12629 Ulmerton Road, Largo, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week while demand lasts. Vacation rental properties are not eligible. Roofs that are flat or made of metal or clay, slate or asbestos tile do not qualify. For more information, call (888) ROOF-BLU (1-888-766-3258), or visit usace.army.mil/Missions/Emergency-Operations/National-Response-Framework/Temporary-Roofing.
Post-Storm Business Resources
- If your business sustained damage during Hurricane Irma, visit Florida's Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center. This is the primary portal for private sector damage assessments and recovery. Start by filling out the damage assessment forms and that information will begin the recovery process.
- Also available are low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations. The loans can be used for loss and damages not fully covered by insurance. Applicants can apply online via SBA's secure website here.
- Businesses that suffered physical damage and need cash flow assistance while waiting for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s assistance can also contact Pinellas County Economic Development about applying for Florida's emergency bridge loan program. Businesses can contact the Pinellas County Small Business Development Center at 727-453-7200 for more information.
- A Business Recovery Center is now open in Pinellas County. It’s open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Pinellas County Economic Development at the St. Petersburg College’s EpiCenter (13805 58th St. N., Suite 1-200, in Largo).
Used & Unused Sandbags
- Clearwater will not collect used sandbags.
- If the bags did not come in contact with floodwaters, the sand and sandbags may be stored and reused for future storm events.
- If residents do not have a storage location, the sand may be spread in a garden or landscaped area of the yard. Do not use the sand for children's sandboxes or play areas.
- Empty sandbags may be placed in the household garbage.
- Sand and sand bags that have been in contact with floodwaters may be contaminated with sewage or septic waste, animal waste, oil, gasoline residue, lawn chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, or other chemicals. Caution should be used to avoid direct human contact when handling sand or sand bags, such as wearing gloves and a dust mask if there is loose or blowing material. Do not place used sand in or near bodies of water, playgrounds, sandboxes or other areas of direct human contact.
- Sand bags that have been in contact with floodwater should be disposed of at Pinellas County Solid Waste Landfill ($37.50/ton or flat rate for qualifying vehicles).
- Pinellas County has detailed disposal information on sandbags: www.pinellascounty.org/emergency/sandbags.htm www.pinellascounty.org/solidwaste/getridofit/default.htm
- Residents, businesses, and individuals can apply for federal assistance for Irma damage. Loans offer federal aid for loss and damage related to disasters. Resources for information include www.DisasterAssistance.gov, https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela, www.pinellascounty.org.
- Residents may register for FEMA assistance online at www.disasterassistance.gov. The FEMA app is available through the Apple App Store or Google Play, by searching for FEMA. Residents may also call (800) 621-FEMA.
- FEMA Disaster Assistance Offices opened up today 9/18 at noon to 4 p.m. at 1111 18th Ave. S. and from noon to 7 p.m. at 6700 8th Ave. N. in St. Petersburg. There also are four offices open in Tampa: (1) Tampa Municipal Office Building next to Old City Hall, 306 E. Jackson St., (2) Hunt Center at Al Lopez Park, 4810 N. Himes Ave., (3) David M. Barksdale Center, 1801 N. Lincoln Ave., (4) NFL Yet Center Jackson Heights Center, 3310 E. Lake Ave.
- Fallen trees on private property. Trees that have fallen on private property are the responsibility of the private property owner. We encourage them to contact a ISA certified arborist for inspection and removal.
- Bees. There are also specific companies that deal with bee removal that these customers can also contact.
- In case people want to know to whom they can donate to help post-Hurricane Irma, contact your local not-for-profit organizations to find out the best way to help people.
- Residents who are still without power are welcome to come to any Clearwater Library branch that is open to charge their mobile devices and enjoy the air conditioning.
- The directive to the Parking Enforcement Team is to work in unison with the Pinellas County state of emergency declaration by not citing for minor offenses (i.e. expired meters, etc.), which would be through Thursday, Sept. 21. Citations issued prior to then will be granted dismissal consideration based on offense. However, citations will be issued for illegally parking in ADA spaces, fire lanes, reserved spaces and any vehicle parked in a manner that creates either a vehicular or pedestrian hazard. If a citation was issued during this period and you’d like confirmation of its status, call (727) 298-3660. Make sure to provide the citation number.