City of Mobile gives Thursday update on Hurricane Sally recovery

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson held a press conference on Hurricane Sally’s aftermath on Thursday, Sept. 17.

Stimpson said the city was fortunate to not have a direct hit from the storm. Hurricane Sally made landfall Wednesday near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 2 storm.

Power outages are the main concern for Mobile citizens. On Wednesday, there were about 160,000 to 166,000 people without power. As of Thursday, 101,000 are without power. Stimpson said 3,000 people are working on restoring power in Mobile by Friday or Saturday morning.

Mobile Fire-Rescue Chief Jeremy Lami said the busiest time was from Wednesday at 11 p.m. to Thursday 11 p.m. In that time, there were 221 incidents in city of Mobile — multiple structure fires and rescue situations in the city at the same time. Lamie said people were using chain saws to get people out of homes hit by trees. Fortunately, no first responders were hurt and no citizens were killed. Mobile Fire-Rescue is keeping higher than normal staffing throughout the rest of the week.

Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste is asking for patience from citizens. Mobile Police answered 2,500 calls for service from Wednesday to Thursday and assisted public works and Mobile-Fire Rescue with addressing downed trees. As of Thursday, there are about 79 different locations that are major intersections without power or flashing lights. Mobile Police is doing its best to man those intersections until power can be restored.

The City of Mobile Animal Shelter had almost 100 pets at the time the storm was projected to hit. Those pets were evacuated, and there are currently 25 animals in the shelter.

Mike Evans with the Mobile County Emergency Management Agency said there are well over 300 trees down, and the EMA has mitigated about 100 so far. The trees are mostly out of the roadways, and neighborhoods will be addressed shortly. Many trees are entangled in power lines, so the city has to coordinate with Alabama Power for the removal of those trees because of the possibility of live wires.

Crews are working on picking up all debris. Once people can get it to the curb, the next task is picking it up. Trash crews don’t have capacity to remove all the debris right now. Because of that, the city has mobilized a contract in place for these kinds situations with a debris removal company.

Debris removal starts Monday. Debris has to be separated. The debris removal contractor is focusing on tree limbs — vegetation debris. Normal trash is construction/household debris. 

Garbage pickup has started back – there will be makeup days. Tuesday trash will be picked up Saturday. Wednesday trash will be picked up Monday. 

Evans said you’ll see a lot of people on the streets, so be courteous to people working in streets and DRIVE SLOW! 

Stimpson said if citizens need a blue tarp to call 211. The city started using a tool that they’ll put out over social media (Nextdoor & Facebook) that’s a real time map showing you they’ve identified trees down or power lines down. It’ll also show when trees have been mitigated. 

Stimpson expects only three to four more days of the current situation and predicts there to be no power outages by the end of the weekend. A curfew is in place Thursday from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Stimpson says he hopes for no curfew Friday.

Watch the full press conference below.

What you need to know

CURFEW 

The City of Mobile is extending its curfew. Tonight’s curfew will begin at 9 p.m. and will end at 6 a.m. A copy of the new curfew can be found on the City of Mobile’s website. 

DISASTER DEBRIS REMOVAL 

Due to Hurricane Sally, making landfall on September 15, 2020, the City of Mobile is coordinating the collection and removal of disaster debris. DRC Emergency Services, LLC will begin debris collection and removal on Monday September 21,2020. Residents are asked to separate disaster debris into three piles: 

Construction and Demolition; 
Trees, limbs, and brush; 
Household hazardous waste  

Please place the debris piles at the curb in the public right-of-way in front of your home.  If properly separated, it will be picked up by crews and disposed of. There is no limit to the amount of debris and no cost for City residents. For further information, call 888-721-4DRC (4372).  

REAL TIME DEBRIS INCIDENT MAP 

Citizens can view areas with fallen trees and downed powerlines in real time. The City of Mobile has created a map for citizens to view areas that have been deemed “damaged sites” due to fallen trees and downed powerlines. The real time information is being updated throughout the day. If you see an area that has fallen trees and downed powerlines that is not listed on the map, please contact 311. Currently the map can be viewed only by Andriod devices and any computer. iOS devices (iphones) are not supported at this time. The map can be viewed by clicking here

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