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Updated Post-Hurricane Irma Information

Post Date:09/12/2017 11:11 AM

Updated Information as of 10/20/17 at 4:25 p.m.

City Offices

  •  All city buildings, library branches, recreation centers, and parks are open except for Moccasin Lake Nature Park. There are numerous trees that are down on the walking trails.

Fire Safety

  • Residents can pick up a carbon monoxide detector for free at station 45 and 48.

Trash, Recycling and Debris Pick Up

  • The city has completed its first pass - or collection - for all yard, storm, and hurricane debris solid waste customers one time since Hurricane Irma.
  • Crews have returned to the Countryside area to begin the second pass/collection since the hurricane.
  • Several contractors are working alongside city crews.
  • Solid waste management anticipates the second pass to be completed by Monday, Oct. 30.
  • Hurricane debris updates: http://www.myclearwater.com/Home/Components/News/News/802/266.
  • Map: https://gis.myclearwater.com/IrmaDebris.

Water Services

  • The city’s water plants, reclaimed water, and sewer systems have been online and are operating properly.

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.

Price Gouging

  • 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 

Federal Assistance

  •  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.

Miscellaneous

  • 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. 
  • 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. 
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