Volunteers help fix yards full of ice storm debris

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News 12 First at Five / Monday, February 17, 2014

Columbia County, Ga. (WRDW) --
"The more help, the better," said Mary Ann Kelehan, whose yard was damaged by last weeks ice storm.

For almost 50 years, Mary Ann and her husband Mike, have been there for each other when it mattered the most.

"It's a lot of work and it's heavy work," she said.

No, they're not talking about their marriage, they're talking about what's left after that devastating ice storm.

"We have an overwhelming amount of branches," said Mary Ann.

And the piles kept getting higher and higher.

"Looking through the window and then when we came out, we realized it was a disaster," she said.

Like everyone else around them, they wanted to clean up, but they couldn't.

Which is where David Hunt and these helping hands come in....

"It's just part of getting back to normal," he said. "There's a lot of disabled and elderly people who need their yards cleaned up."

The Kelehan's yard dilemma, got more than 30 hands, and chainsaws.

"The kids can drag limbs just as well as anyone else," said Hunt. "Get the debris out to the side of the road so that it can get picked up."

That's difficult for the Kelehans and most others in Columbia County. More than 100 houses in the area are still in desperate need of cleaning up.

"There are some branches they've seen that have been on houses," he said.

Although power's been brought back to the Kelehan's and their entire neighborhood, the help given today, goes beyond a warm home and a warm meal. It's something, they'll never forget.

"Bad situation but it's turned out to be very uplifting," Mary and her husband Mike said.

From Columbia County:

Columbia County citizens who want to have their winter storm tree and limb debris picked up by the county need to be sure to have their debris placed on the curb by this Wednesday, February 19, 2014.

The County Contractor will begin the process of picking up this debris on Wednesday. No specific routes are scheduled, so have it out and ready by Wednesday so yours gets picked up when they come into your area.

Due to the massive amounts of debris throughout the county, we are looking at a timetable of up to 45 days to pick up all of the debris. See below for answers to some of the questions we are being asked:

· Only trees and limbs will be picked up

· Do not place debris in ditches or on sidewalk

· Do not park vehicles in front of the debris pile during daytime hours

· Do not place any of the debris in bags – just place by your curb, as is

· Make sure limbs placed for picked up do not exceed 10 feet in length