News
Posted September 12, 2017 | 4:07 PM

County Focuses on Health, Safety in Hurricane Irma Aftermath

Hurricane Irma Update No. 34

Hillsborough County, Fla. (Sept. 12, 2017) - Hillsborough County continues to work with its partners and local law enforcement to restore services to residents. The County completed its initial damage assessments immediately following Hurricane Irma. Public Works crews are in the process of clearing roadways, and working with TECO restoring power to traffic signals to ensure residents' health and safety.

Residents can call (813) 272-5900 to report flooding and road problems or to request additional information.

Yard Waste Disposal
Residents cleaning up their yards can start disposing of vegetative storm debris as yard waste collections begin in Hillsborough County.

Due to the extent of storm debris created from Hurricane Irma, contracted yard debris collection will start on Monday, Sept. 18. Residents should have yard waste placed in piles along the right of way for collection by Monday, Sept. 18. Do not block access to storm water drains, utility boxes, or roadways.

As storm debris is being collected, the trucks will be working systematically throughout neighborhoods. The trucks may have to make several passes through the neighborhoods over the next several weeks due to the extent of storm damage, and to ensure the removal of all storm debris put out by residents.

County yard waste facilities are operating under extended hours, Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Residents must show a valid Florida driver's license to receive free yard waste disposal. Yard waste facilities open are:

  • Falkenburg Road - 346 N. Falkenburg Road, Tampa 33619
  • Northwest County - 8001 W. Linebaugh Ave, Tampa 33625
  • South County - 13000 U.S. Highway 41, Gibsonton 33534
  • Hillsborough Heights - 6209 County Road 579, Seffner 33584 (opens Wednesday, Sept. 13) 

Residential garbage, recycling, and yard waste collection services will resume on Wednesday, Sept. 13.

Aftermath Safety
As residents venture out in the community and start to clean up after Hurricane Irma, the County urges residents to proceed with caution. Below are a few simple tips to follow:

  • Treat non-functioning traffic signals as a four-way stop.
  • Observe all barricades and detours. They are there for your protection.
  • Don't drive through moving or standing water. Water that is 2 feet deep can disable most vehicles.
  • Watch for workers clearing debris, and follow all directional instructions and detour signs.
  • If your power is out, safely use a generator or candles.
  • Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed, or garage, even if doors and windows are open.
  • Keep generators outside and far away from windows, doors, and vents. Read both the label on your generator and the owner's manual and follow the instructions.
  • Use candles with caution. If possible, use flashlights and camping lights instead. If you must use candles, do not burn them on or near anything that can catch fire.
  • Avoid plugging emergency generators into electric outlets or hooking them directly to your home's electrical system - they can feed electricity back into the power lines, putting you and line workers in danger.


FEMA Disaster Assistance

Hillsborough County residents impacted by Hurricane Irma are eligible for individual disaster assistance. Residents can easily access federal disaster assistance through the FEMA mobile app available in the Apple App Store or on Google Play. The app allows residents to upload and share photos of damage, access local resources, and toggle between English and Spanish. Assistance can also be requested by filling out an online questionnaire and aid application at DisasterAssistance.gov or calling 1-800-621-3362 (TTY: 1-800-462-7585). Those with Internet access are encouraged to apply that way.

Consumer Tips
As property cleanup and repairs begin, Hillsborough County reminds residents to be mindful of businesses or individuals engaging in price gouging. Reports should be made by contacting the Attorney General's hotline at (866) 966-7226, or by filing a complaint with Hillsborough County Consumer & Veterans Services. The State of Florida's price gouging law prohibits extreme consumer cost increases in essential commodities such as food, fuel, ice, hotels, lumber, and water. Unlicensed contractors also face additional charges, and protections remain in effect for the duration of the declared emergency.