Ian-caused yard debris still an issue in Nassau Co. neighborhoods

cofb fernandina beach ian
Commissioners unanimously voted to extend the local state of emergency another week.

Unless you have a few goats handy, dealing with yard debris left over from Hurricane Ian can be problematic, especially if the local government isn’t handling the issue. In one Fernandina Beach neighborhood, the problem is serious enough that one of the residents asked the Nassau County Board of County Commissioners for an ordinance to do something about it.

“Due to storm Ian, we’ve had a solid layer of storm debris in our streets and in the islands — we have four islands on our street,” Henna Kerins said.

“We’re an area of large and numerous oaks. We neighbors have raked the road and cleaned the islands of limbs and debris, gathering in neat piles, expecting the county pickup of the storm debris. However, the county decided not to pick up the storm debris this time, so now we have two problems. One, we have piles of debris that we’ve located on the islands, in the county property. Someone will have to arrange disposal and absorb the cost of that removal.”

Some folks aren’t waiting, and just burning their yard waste instead, which Kerins would like the Commission to ban.

“This has been a problem, because in a residential area, that smoke becomes very offensive,” Kerins said. “I’ve had to put towels and things around my door because I can smell the smoke coming in.”

Regarding Ian, Commissioners unanimously voted to extend the local state of emergency another week. The designation is largely to keep the county eligible for costs incurred responding to Hurricane Ian in order for federal reimbursement.

Tasks covered in these activities include inspecting roadside ditches, drainage facilities and bridges, as well as managing different areas with different debris problems.

The next phase involves “administrative functions that we have to do for going after (Federal Emergency Management Agency) reimbursement,” County Manager Taco Pope said at the previous Commissioners meeting. “(Assistant County Manager) Marshall (Eyerman) and his team are working close with (Nassau County) Emergency Management to get the paperwork done on all that.”

Wes Wolfe

Wes Wolfe is a reporter who's worked for newspapers across the South, winning press association awards for his work in Georgia and the Carolinas. He lives in Jacksonville and previously covered state politics, environmental issues and courts for the News-Leader in Fernandina Beach. You can reach Wes at [email protected] and @WesWolfeFP. Facebook: facebook.com/wes.wolfe


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