BRUNSWICK, GA. | Brunswick, Glynn County and St. Simons Island residents who evacuated for Hurricane Irma can return home Thursday, but officials are warning them to be prepared for some discomfort.

 

Even downgraded Irma still had 70 mph winds when it struck the Georgia coast Monday and that was enough punch to knock out 90 percent of the electrical supply, 75 percent of water and sewer services and all traffic signals, the county said in a printed statement Wednesday night.

The Glynn County-Brunswick Joint Water and Sewer Commission has said that its wastewater treatment plants are all working, but that 75 percent of the pumps that move the sewage to the plants are inoperable rendering the sanitary sewer inoperable.

The water is safe to drink on the mainland and St. Simons, but Jekyll Island lost water pressure on its system during the storm and is under a boil water advisory.

About 68 percent of Georgia Power Co.’s customers in Glynn County still had no power Wednesday afternoon.

Also, many roads have been narrowed by fallen trees and the flooding left contaminated standing water.

Although some traffic lights have been repaired, some are still not working including those at some major intersections. All non-working signals are to be treated as four-way stops and stop signs have been installed at many.


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The sanitary conditions notwithstanding, the Georgia Department of Transportation inspected the Dunbar Creek bridge on Sea Island Road on St. Simons Island and found it to be unsafe. The bridge is closed until it can be repaired. A contractor was working on the bridge Wednesday, but the county has not said when it will be opened.

The bridge carries traffic between Sea Island and the north end of St. Simons and the island’s causeway. When it was closed last year for a sewer project, it caused a traffic nightmare throwing all the traffic onto already busy Frederica Road. Drives that had taken a few minutes took hours.

The midnight to 6 a.m. curfew will be lengthened to 10 p.m. until 6 a.m.beginning Thursday and will continue until Saturday.

Glynn County offices will open Friday and Superior Court, Magistrate Court and property records will be open then. Superior Court will resume hearings Monday.

Glynn County has predicted it will take months to clean up all the hazards. Additional updates and more information may be found at www.glynncounty.org/irma or on the Glynn County Commission Facebook page.

Things are only somewhat better in Camden County, which is also urging a minimal use of the water and sewer system.

Camden County, the Sherriff’s Office, and the cities of Kingsland, St. Marys and Woodbine, county schools and Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base all plan to open Monday.

School and government office employee may return to work voluntarily Friday only if they are able and willing to do so, the county said.

Camden County has an 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. curfew that will remain in effect until further notice.

Terry Dickson: (912) 264-0405