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St. Marys, Georgia

Debris Management and Monitoring After Hurricane Irma

80,000 cubic yards removed

After causing catastrophic damage throughout the Caribbean and Florida, Hurricane Irma swept through parts of Georgia, including the coastal city of St. Marys. The storm ravaged the city’s waterfront, damaging and destroying docks, tossing boats onto the shore, sinking several others while inundating downtown with approximately 16 feet of water. City leaders wasted no time and immediately initiated cleanup and recovery efforts. GMC was retained by the City to assist with disaster recovery alongside FEMA, the Department of Natural Resources, National Park Service, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“Robert and his team understood the critical impact of this storm on our water-based economy and have worked vigorously to help us get back on our feet as quickly as possible.”
– City of St. Marys Mayor, John Morrissey

The gateway to Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia’s largest barrier island, St. Marys relies heavily on tourism to support its local economy. Without access to the docks and with many of the boats used to transport tourists to the attraction damaged or at the bottom of the river, tourism would be at a standstill.

Cleanup and recovery efforts are the first steps to restoring these cities to their pre-disaster conditions. More importantly, for the millions of people affected these are the first steps to returning to life as they know it. Rebuilding presents opportunities to create more resilient communities. By being proactive, city and community leaders can provide citizens with peace of mind knowing that measures are being taken to better protect them and their loved ones from future impacts of this caliber.

“Being able to help the City get to a point where they could regain their source of revenue is rewarding,” Ramsey said. “We’re here to create value for the citizens and leaders of St. Marys and to return a sense of normalcy as quickly as possible.”

The team worked with the City on cost recovery efforts to make sure they received 100 percent of what they were eligible for from FEMA to continue rebuilding efforts. In addition to full restoration of public docking and boating facilities, long term plans included resilience measures to mitigate damage from future natural disasters.