Livingston praises post hurricane efforts

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 27, 2005

LIVINGSTON-Since Hurricane Katrina made landfall the people of Sumter County have all stepped up to clean debris and get people back to their regular routine.

At Monday’s City Council meeting Livingston Mayor Tom Tartt commended everyone who had helped.

“The cleanup for Katrina has continued since the storm hit,” Tartt said. “We would like to continue to encourage people to bring their debris to the road side and keep working with us.”

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Sumter County was declared a disaster area on Aug. 29 and people have been working hard ever since, especially city workers. Tartt said as of Monday they had removed a tremendous amount of debris and he appreciated everyone who lent a hand.

“To this date we were able to remove 131 sweep car loads and we continue to pick up every day,” Tartt said. “Since the storm came through the Street and Sanitation Department has worked overtime and a holiday weekend. The Police Department has also worked 80 hours of overtime keeping the streets cleared and keeping people safe.”

Tartt said many city workers went the extra mile to extend a helping hand to those who evacuated from the Gulf Coast.

“The police, fire and rescue assisted with the shelters and made several runs to the shelter alone,” Tartt said. “The utility department has done an outstanding job with helping out the morning after the storm.”

Keeping the streets clear of debris and drivers was a major concern during the storm. Tartt said he appreciated every department that helped them accomplish this goal.

“I would like to thank particularly our Public Safety Department and Street and Sanitation crew,” Tartt said. “I think they have done an outstanding job. These guys have spent a year dealing with three big storms and our Street and Sanitation crew has put forth an effort that is to be commended.”

Tartt said the people of Livingston have made it very clear that they also appreciated the quick response.

“We just want to let then know how much we appreciate what they have done,” Tartt said. “I have had a number of citizens come up to me and tell me how much they appreciate it. We appreciate their hard work.”

Though the city received a lot of help from its own workers, there was also a great deal of assistance from outside sources. Tartt said FEMA had gone above the call of duty to make the transition following the hurricane run smoothly.

“The help and assistance that we have received from FEMA has been outstanding,” Tartt said. “They have been here anytime we had a question about anything. They have worked with us and met with us on our schedule and they have been very forthcoming with any information or any help we have requested.”

Tartt also thanked the city’s administration for keeping an open line of communication with citizen’s and FEMA.