Demolition of Hurricane-Damaged Buildings
Hurricanes wreak immense damage, and one of the most significant post-hurricane hurdles is the removal of debris, which includes the demolition of damaged buildings. After the ravages of Hurricane Michael, the Private Property Debris Removal (PPDR) program faced a rocky start, but hundreds of hurricane-damaged buildings are finally getting the approval they need for demolition to begin. If you are facing hurricane-related concerns, reach out to an experienced Panama City insurance claims attorney today.
Since the Category 5 storm blew through the area about two years ago, debris removal has been a major concern, and many county officials didn’t think they were seeing enough progress. Originally, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved the demolition of 246 hurricane-damaged buildings, but with the boost from PPDR, an additional 262 buildings are on the chopping block – effectively doubling the total number (plus a few), and those same county officials are on board.
The Vice-Chairman of the County Commission Weighs In
Robert Carroll, the vice-chairman of the Bay County Commission shares that, after the utter devastation borne by Hurricane Michael, witnessing this progress (in the form of demolition and debris removal) is extremely uplifting. He also notes that being able to watch some neighborhoods come back together and seeing some families move back into their homes and return to their normal lives is gratifying.
The Impending Demolitions
Carroll reports that the 262 damaged buildings recently approved for demolition were denied by FEMA the first time around. Initially, FEMA instructions included the following two exclusionary guidelines for assistance with debris removal:
- Debris on private properties was excluded.
- Fallen trees that weren’t leaning toward a structure or toward a right-of-way were excluded.
These exclusions have since been lifted, which helps account for the rising number of demolition approvals.
County officials report that, although there is no exact timeline in place regarding when all the necessary building demolitions will be completed, Bay County will continue to seek the assistance it needs from FEMA as long as applicants keep coming forward. Currently, there are more than 700 structures that are awaiting approval through the Private Property Debris Removal program. While the original contract for demolition had a required completion date of December 31, 2020, the change order for the additional properties has extended that date to March 30, 2021.
You Need an Experienced Panama City Insurance Claims Attorney on Your Side
Debris is one of the many, many matters that need to be addressed in the wake of a Hurricane, and when the storm reaches the magnitude that Hurricane Michael reached, debris removal becomes an even more significant issue. If you are facing the aftermath of a hurricane, the dedicated Panama City insurance claims attorneys at Ged Lawyers, LLP, are here to help and are committed to employing their impressive experience in pursuit of the disaster-related financial relief to which you are entitled. Our legal team is on your side, so please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at 850-684-4000 for more information today.