Clean up delays impact South Georgia

By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
November 2, 2018

BAINBRIDGE, Ga. (WCTV) -- Weeks after Hurricane Michael ripped through much of the region, some communities are still struggling to clean up.

In Bainbridge, streets and sidewalks are still lined with debris, covered in branches and fallen trees. Clean up throughout the city has been put on hold after contractors began protesting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Officials in Bainbridge said local municipalities have agreed to allow the state to handle clean up because the cost to contract it out locally is too high. Governor Nathan Deal, along with Georgia Emergency Management Agency negotiated a contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in order to cut down those costs.

Bainbridge officials said the Army Corps awarded a bid to Georgia Mission to Ceres Environmental Services, but some other contractors said it was done incorrectly. Officials said those contractors filed a formal written complaint with the Government Accountability Office.

Under federal law, any clean up work could not begin until those complaints are resolved.

Some residents in Bainbridge are now concerned about the town's safety, and just want to see it cleaned up.

"We're hoping that it gets cleaned up soon because it is a hazard, because it does create a hazard in the streets for people driving, and for people and for our kids out, schools have already started back here so people are having to be extra careful getting around town," said Bainbridge resident Randi New. "This is a beautiful neighborhood, and it's not so beautiful right now but it'll come back, we'll be back."

On Friday Geordia Department of Transportation began cleaning up some of the regions in the mean time. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also announced Friday that they have been given authority to begin cleaning up the area.

Officials hope to have all protests resolved in about one week.