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Hall County crews continue to respond to storm-related issues across the community following the effects of Tropical Storm Irma earlier this week, including answering questions regarding storm clean-up and where citizens without power can go to seek shelter.
Hall County Parks & Leisure Director Mike Little announced Thursday that Hall County’s three community centers are available for citizens to plug in their devices and take a hot shower.
“I know the Hall County School System has made a similar offer, and we’re excited to open our doors to members of the public who have similar needs,” he said.
Little said anyone coming to a community center will need to bring their own towel and necessary toiletries.
The County’s three community centers opened their doors for the first time in more than two days Thursday morning after losing power due to the storm late Monday.
Between noon on Monday and 8 a.m. Wednesday, Hall County’s 911 Center fielded 292 calls regarding power lines being down and 842 calls to report a fallen tree. In total, the center’s call volume during that same period of time was 3,196 storm-related calls. That’s in comparison to the approximately 1,100 calls the center fields on a typical day.
Hall County officials said a number of recent calls have been in regard to clearing storm debris on private property. The following information has been gathered to aid the public in their clean-up efforts:
“All of our resources are currently dedicated to post-storm clean up,” said Hall County Road Maintenance Director Jimmy Hightower. “Our crews are working 12-hour days, six days a week, and we’re holding off our mowing operations and suspending general maintenance until we get this mess cleaned up.”
Hall County Emergency Management Agency Director David Kimbrell said while there is a massive clean-up effort underway, the County is lucky to not be dealing with a much more tragic result.
“We have been very fortunate,” he said. “There’s been no deaths reported, no major injuries.”
As a reminder, Hall County Government is in the process of assessing the storm’s damage in order to apply for financial assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). As a part of that process, the County could be approved to serve as a FEMA Disaster Assistance Center, which would provide financial aid to homeowners to assist with their clean-up efforts. To find out if and when Hall County is approved for that designation, text the word "hallcounty" to 888777.
Citizens can also call the Hall County Emergency Operations Call Center at 770-718-3300 to report fallen trees and down power lines.