A ceaseless flow of trucks come in and unload as large bulldozers and excavators push, pile and scoop debris at the Berkeley County landfill. The heavy equipment is sometimes blocked from sight as the ragged heap of fallen limbs grows, and it’s just a speck of what’s to come.
Whether it’s large, fallen trees from the side of the road or diligently piled limbs and leaves along neighborhood sidewalks, all of the storm debris will go to the Moncks Corner site.
“While Berkeley County was ultimately spared from seeing the wrath of Hurricane Dorian, the storm certainly left its footprint around the County,” said Berkeley County Supervisor Johnny Cribb.
The debris clean up in Berkeley County started on Tuesday, Sept. 10, and it could take up to four weeks to complete as Berkeley County Roads and Bridges and municipalities work on the effort.
“The Berkeley County team worked hard through the storm to ensure citizens were prepared and informed. That same level of commitment is true as we tackle debris removal,” Cribb said.
The landfill superintendent said there could be up to 18 thousand tons of, neatly lined debris mounds, before it’s over, which is about the same amount as previous, close call, storms like Matthew in 2016. But it may take more time to cleanup because of the number trees down in old-growth neighborhoods, like those in Goose Creek and Hanahan.
“The large trees have caused some issues,” said Hanahan City Administrator Mike Cochran.
Cochran said there will be additional crews in the city working on weekends to get the debris up and out but areas like Otranto will take a little more time.
“A tree with a three-foot trunk; they will cut it and put it out on the curb, that’s like two truck loads,” he said. “Some neighborhoods you’ll see a bunch of brown bags because people didn’t have a bunch of damage and those are easy to do, but when you start seeing entire trees on the roadside then that takes a little longer.”
Hanahan is also getting additional assistance by way of an 18-wheeler on loan from Berkeley County.
Berkeley County officials are also encouraging residents who want to burn their debris to check on local ordinances. In unincorporated Berkeley County, the only materials that can be burned are naturally generated materials, such as grass clippings, brush and limbs.
Before a burn is started, citizens need to call 1-800-777-3473 and leave a message with the address regarding where the fire will be.