UPDATE (5:48 PM):
Mr. Crawford reports that we will plan to run brush trucks to remove brush and debris generated by the storm. All next week we will primarily be running this brush removal in the areas hardest hit by the storm. We will be running our two trucks as well as the trucks provided to us by our gracious neighboring communities. After next week, any resident that still has brush generated by the storm will be able to call Public Works to request removal of their brush, and our crews will oblige.
Our city staff have been working hard all day to make sure we are able to respond effectively and efficiently to the issues our community faces as a result of the tornado. Our first responders have been working non-stop to ensure our safety. Our neighbors have been working together, helping one another, and supporting each other. Thanks to everyone for their efforts!
UPDATE (2:29 PM):
Fountain Inn (1 truck), Mauldin (1 truck), and the City of Greenville (2 trucks) are providing some brush truck assistance. We are grateful for their help. Again, these brush trucks are presently following our own crews to remove the brush and trees that these crews are cleaning up. We anticipate that there will be a large volume of brush that residents will have for disposal as well, more than what can reasonably be bundled. After the brush trucks have removed the brush debris generated by our own crews, Mr. Crawford and Mr. Dyrhaug will be assessing what our capabilities might be for removing brush cleaned up by residents.
We appreciate your continued patience as we work to clean up our city after what has been confirmed as an EF-1 tornado touchdown. We also appreciate the work of so many of you as you assist in these efforts in a variety of ways. Personally, I am so encouraged by all the residents offering to help one another in this time of need. You are what makes this city great. Thank you.
UPDATE (9:49 AM):
This morning Chief Williams and Mr. Dyrhaug rode the City to survey the damage from yesterday’s storm. Here’s what they report: Some areas got hit hard. There are a lot of trees down including a number of trees that have fallen onto homes. A number of homes also took a direct hit. Some of the hardest hit areas include Poinsettia, the Richardson Street and Cox Street neighborhoods, and Remington (outside the City but inside our Fire District). Brentwood, Morning Mist, some areas along Curtis Street, and a few other areas also took some damage.
Most of the roads are now open although there are a few remaining spots with trees down on the road. This includes Richardson Street and Eastview Circle, among others. The Fire Department is working on clearing these where they are capable. We believe that we have only one traffic signal still not operating yet, at the intersection of Main Street and Garrison Road. However, the timing seems to be off for many of the traffic signals in town. The Police Department is reporting this to SCDOT so that they can fix these issues.
Power has been restored to most neighborhoods although there are still a few pockets without power. Duke continues to work on restoring power. Generators are available for individuals that need power for an emergency medical need.
We have three Fire Department shifts working today to clean up fallen trees. They are also working to shore up some of the hardest hit homes. Lowe’s home improvement is donating lumber and other supplies as needed by our crews. Public Works crews are going behind the Fire crews with our brush grabbers to remove the trees and brush that the Fire crews are cleaning. Right now Mr. Jay Crawford is contacting Fountain Inn and Mauldin to see if they can lend any brush truck assistance.
The Police Department is patrolling the city and reporting any damage and issues that they observe. All issues are being reported to the Fire Department so that they can act as our central coordinating team.
UPDATE (8:08 AM):
Much of the City is still without power. Now that it’s daylight, we’re heading out to check on elderly and disabled neighbors. If you know someone who needs to be checked on but can’t do it yourself, let me know, and I’ll try to get someone over there.
There are still many trees down and some roads that aren’t passable. Mr. Dyrhaug and Chief Williams are out surveying the damage right now and will provide updates. I will share them as I receive them.
I’ve been told Richardson St. is a problem and East Georgia is out at Howard. Some estimates for power restoration are at 4 PM. Duke Energy spokesman Ryan Mosier said crews are coming in from Asheville to assist with restoring power in Simpsonville. If you have updates to share, please share. Otherwise, stay safe, tale care of each other, and stay tuned for updates.