Private Property Debris Removal Program is wrapping up in Bay County

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 6:25 PM CST
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - After Hurricane Michael hit, many homes in Bay County were left unlivable.

While tearing down a house could cost homeowners thousands of dollars, the ‘Private Property Debris Removal Program’ was created to help ease that financial burden. With money from FEMA, the program has helped hundreds of families recover by demolishing their homes for them.

“It’s been a long tedious process but it’s just part of being able to recover. Trying to get people back to normal. We think that’s just a huge important thing to do is just try to get all this behind us, and this is a good way of doing it,” Bay County Commissioner Tommy Hamm said.

The ‘Private Property Debris Removal Program’ knocked down the first Bay County home on February 14, 2020. As of Tuesday, roughly one year later, they’ve demolished more than 250 homes.

Officials say the program is finally wrapping up.

“It has been a long two years just trying to get to the point where we’re at the last stages of the program,” Bay County Code Enforcement Manager Kathi Ashman said. Forty homes are left to demolish.

“It’s progress. That’s what we’re after, that’s what we’re pushing is just progress,” Hamm said.

Bay County continues to see signs of recovery from the hurricane every single day.

“When you’re able to drive around and you see things happening, and things being cleaned up, and rebuilt and things coming back to bright and shiny, it’s a good feeling,” Hamm said.

Bay County Code Enforcement officials hope to finish tearing down the remaining homes by the middle of next month.

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