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Daily Update Oct 17Current Situation: The Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) Type 3 Incident Management Team (IMT) is managing response and recovery efforts related to the clearing of debris from public roadways, public infrastructures, facilities and property to assist power companies with the restoration of electrical power to communities. The Incident Command Post is located in Tifton, Georgia. Kris Butler is the Incident Commander. 10 GFC chainsaw strike teams of 90 personnel are assigned. 20 personnel assigned to GFC dozers and 25 personnel are assigned to the GFC Incident Management Team. This will be the final update provided by the GFC IMT.

Partners and Cooperators: Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS), County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Directors, Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Georgia Department of Corrections (DOC), Georgia Department of Agriculture (DOA), Georgia Search and Rescue (GSARS) and electrical power companies.

Planned Actions: Chainsaw strike teams are concentrating on clearing debris in Seminole County where the GFC IMT is working closely in cooperation with the local electrical power company to help clear the roads so power can be restored as quickly as possible.

  • Seminole County, Division A – 3 GFC chainsaw strike teams, 5 GDOT teams, 7 DNR teams working in 2 State Parks, and 6 DOC teams.
  • Early and Miller Counties, Division B – 3 GFC chainsaw strike teams, 2 GDOT teams, and 2 DNR teams.
  • Baker, Calhoun, Crisp, Colquitt, Dougherty, Grady, Lee, Mitchell, Thomas and Worth Counties, Division C – 1 GFC chainsaw strike team, 1 GFC dozer strike team, 3 GDOT teams, and 5 DOC teams.
  • Decatur County, Division D – 2 GFC chainsaw strike teams, 1 GFC dozer strike team, 4 GDOT teams, and 8 DOC teams.

Crews will complete these assignments today and some will begin to demobilize this afternoon with a goal of having the entire IMT demobilized by Friday afternoon. Remaining debris clearance work will transition to the local district of the GDOT. The GDOT will manage debris clearing operations through the remainder of the declared state of emergency which runs through November 6, 2018.

Burn Permits: The GFC has resumed issuing permits in all counties for all types of burning EXCEPT Decatur, Seminole, Miller, Early, Mitchell and Baker Counties. For these 6 counties only hand piled natural vegetation (yard debris) permits/notification of intent to burn will be allowed at this time.

History: Hurricane Michael entered Georgia as a major hurricane on October 10th from the southwest near the Lake Seminole area where the Georgia, Florida and Alabama state lines converge. It continued as a hurricane with sustained winds above 74 mph into Thursday morning, October 11th, until reaching Bleckley and Twiggs Counties. Several tornadoes were reported in areas away from the hurricane’s main core path. A tremendous amount of downed trees and debris exists in areas where there is limited or restricted access by roads. Some local flooding has occurred and streams, creek and rivers have high and swift water. Several communities remain without power due to damaged poles, lines and substations damaged by high winds. Safety of personnel is of concern due to trees in tension that may snap or break, downed power lines, smoke from unauthorized debris burning, mold, insect bites and bee stings. A preliminary damage assessment shows approximately 3 million acres of timber damage with assessments continuing. A basic assessment of damaged community trees in public areas was conducted by GFC’s community foresters. The most significant damage was noted in and around the communities of Blakely, Colquitt, Donalsonville, Bainbridge, and Albany. A major disaster has been declared for Baker, Decatur, Dougherty, arly, Miller and Seminole Counties. Assistance is available for individuals in these counties, and in 31 counties for public assistance. More information is available at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362.

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Daily Update Oct 15

Current Situation: The Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) Type 3 Incident Management Team (IMT) is managing response and recovery efforts related to the clearing of debris from public roadways, public infrastructures, facilities and property to assist power companies with the restoration of electrical power to communities. The Incident Command Post is located in Tifton, Georgia. Kris Butler is the Incident Commander. There is a tireless effort of continued commitment from the Georgia Forestry Commission staff, many of whom were impacted personally but have not yet returned home.

  • 10 GFC chainsaw strike teams of 90 personnel are assigned. 20 personnel assigned to GFC dozers and 25 personnel are assigned to the GFC Incident Management Team.

Partners and Cooperators: Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS), County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Directors, Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Georgia Department of Corrections (DOC), Georgia Department of Agriculture (DOA), Georgia Search and Rescue (GSARS) and electrical power companies.

Planned Actions: The GFC IMT is coordinating assignments with the GDOT, DNR, DOC and GSARS chainsaw strike teams. The teams will continue to focus on clearing state and county roads as a priority in Seminole and Decatur Counties, and Early and Miller Counties, the hardest hit counties in southwest Georgia. Four divisions include:

  • Division A – Seminole
  • Division B – Early, Miller
  • Division C – Clay, Calhoun, Dougherty, Worth, Lee, Terrell, Crisp and Turner, Baker, Mitchell, Colquitt, Grady, Thomas
  • Division D – Decatur

An additional 3 teams from GSARS will assist today in Seminole County, and 19 DOT crews will join GFC forces across the region to focus specifically with electrical municipal corporations on clearing debris from utility rights-of-way. GFC’s helicopter and air operations resources are being utilized for a data collection flight to help identify and map road closures.

Safety of personnel is of concern due to trees in tension that may snap or break, downed power lines, smoke from unauthorized debris burning, mold, insect bites and bee stings. In remote areas, there are gas shortages. Businesses are remaining closed until power is restored.

Crews are assisting people on private property if lives are at risk or people are trapped and need medical attention. The Incident Management Team will continue to reach out to County EMA directors and utility companies.

Burn Permits Temporarily Suspended: The Georgia Forestry Commission has temporarily suspended the issuing of burning permits within the following counties: Baker, Calhoun, Clay, Colquitt, Crisp, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Lee, Miller, Mitchell, Randolph, Seminole, Terrell, Thomas, Worth.

History: Hurricane Michael entered Georgia as a major hurricane on October 10th from the southwest near the Lake Seminole area where the Georgia, Florida and Alabama state lines converge. It continued as a hurricane with sustained winds above 74 mph into Thursday morning, October 11th, until reaching Bleckley and Twiggs Counties. Several tornadoes were reported in areas away from the hurricane’s main core path. A tremendous amount of downed trees and debris currently exist where there is limited or restricted access by roads. Some local flooding has occurred and streams, creek and rivers have high and swift water. A preliminary damage assessment is showing approximately 3 million acres of timber has been damaged. Numerous communities remain without power due to damaged poles, lines and substations damaged by high winds. A basic assessment of damaged community trees in public areas is being conducted by GFC’s community foresters.

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Daily Update Oct 14

Current Situation: The Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) Type 3 Incident Management Team (IMT) is managing response and recovery efforts related to the clearing of debris from public roadways, public infrastructures, facilities and property to assist power companies with the restoration of electrical power to communities. The Incident Command Post is located in Tifton, Georgia. Kris Butler is the Incident Commander. There is a tireless effort of continued commitment from the Georgia Forestry Commission staff, many of whom were impacted personally but have not yet returned home.

  • 10 GFC chainsaw strike teams of 90 personnel are assigned. 20 personnel assigned to GFC dozers and 25 personnel are assigned to the GFC Incident Management Team.

Partners and Cooperators: Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS), County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Directors, Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Georgia Department of Corrections (DOC), Georgia Department of Agriculture (DOA), and electrical power companies.

Planned Actions: Today the GFC IMT assumed responsibility for coordinating assignments with the GDOT, DNR and DOC chainsaw strike teams. The teams will continue to focus on clearing state and county roads as a priority in the hardest hit counties in southwest Georgia based on current damage assessments. Three divisions include:

  • Division A – Seminole, Decatur, Grady and Thomas Counties
  • Division B – Early, Baker, Miller, and Mitchell and Colquitt Counties
  • Division C – Clay, Calhoun, Dougherty, Worth, Lee, Terrell, Crisp and Turner

Debris clearing teams from the GDOT are being released from less-affected areas to assist with this effort in Southwest Georgia as they are available. These teams consist of sawyers, loaders, dump trucks, backhoes and excavators.

Safety of personnel is of concern due to trees in tension that may snap or break, downed power lines, smoke from unauthorized debris burning, mold, insect bites and bee stings. In remote areas, there are gas shortages. Businesses are remaining closed until power is restored.

Crews are assisting people on private property if lives are at risk or people are trapped and need medical attention. The Incident Management Team will continue to reach out to County EMA directors to offer assistance with debris clearing on county roads now that most state roads are passable.

Burn Permits Temporarily Suspended for the following areas:

The Georgia Forestry Commission has temporarily suspended the issuing of burning permits within the 108 declared counties.

History: Hurricane Michael entered Georgia as a major hurricane on October 10th from the southwest near the Lake Seminole area where the Georgia, Florida and Alabama state lines converge. It continued as a hurricane with sustained winds above 74 mph into Thursday morning, October 11th, until reaching Bleckley and Twiggs Counties. Several tornadoes were reported in areas away from the hurricane’s main core path. A tremendous amount of downed trees and debris currently exist where there is limited or restricted access by roads. Some local flooding has occurred and streams, creek and rivers have high and swift water. A preliminary damage assessment is showing approximately 3 million acres of timber has been damaged. Numerous communities remain without power due to damaged poles, lines and substations damaged by high winds. A basic assessment of damaged community trees in public areas is being conducted by GFC’s community foresters.

Incident Management Team Information

  • Susan Granbery, Public Information Officer, 478-283-0705, sgranbery@gfc.state.ga.us
  • Follow Us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @GeorgiaForestryCommission #HurricaneMichael

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