While the year is winding down, cleanup continues in southwest Georgia from Hurricane Michael. But, it likely won't last long past the new year.
After Hurricane Michael blew through the southwest corner of Georgia in early October, the Army Corps of Engineers estimated they had about 5 million cubic yards of plant debris to get off the ground.
Heading into Christmas, the Corps finished their first pass through the area, collecting about three quarters of their estimate. The Corps’ George Stringham said after a break, there will be one more collection pass in the new year for the rest.
"The window’s still open but it is starting to close a little bit," Stringham said.
Stringham said residents still have several weeks to get Michael-related debris ready for pickup. Plus, there's likely some wet weather early in January that will likely slow the work. Plant matter that didn't get put on the ground is starting to show up in collections.
"It's that time of year when people are trimming hedges back," Stringham said. "I'm sure later this week we'll start to see some Christmas trees. That stuff is not eligible debris."
So the Corps asks that people not try to sneak those items into the already massive, and soon to grow, debris pile in the southwest corner of the state.