Irma cleanup underway on Tybee Island, but volunteers are needed

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) – Tybee Island leaders say they are facing damage from Tropical Storm Irma that surpasses Hurricane Matthew.

Hundreds of homes have flood damage and many people need help removing water damaged items from their homes.

The U.S. Coast Guard Air Station answered the call for help as many service members donated their time on their day off.

This was a sight for sore eyes for Frannie Galloway, who faced cleanup alone.

“I teared up and I wanted to sing the theme song,” Galloway says, “I don’t know it but I’m going to learn it.”

Flood-damaged items must be hauled out to the curb.

“They are taking out every large piece of furniture, every single thing, refrigerators, couches,” Galloway says, adding, “And just to know that I can, now I can get into the deep clean but without these guys, it’s just everybody there’s a line a mile long for help.”

But after seeing the damage, many U.S. Coast Guard members are happy to help.

“It’s catastrophic what we are seeing. There’s a lot of people you know that are living by themselves or just don’t have the means to get some of this big stuff out of their house that’s waterlogged and damaged,” says Lt. Dan Gillis of the U.S. Coast Guard, “So we’re just happy to be here to be able to help people get it out so they can move on with everything.”

The City Manager says many storm victims on Tybee are moving on after losing everything.

“For a lot of folks this is their whole world and this is their life. And their finances are ruined at this point, so we’re trying to do everything we can to get them back on their feet and to get them the help they need,” says Shawn Gillen, Tybee Island City Manager.

How to help:

Volunteer help, like that from the Coast Guard, is what the Island of Tybee really needs right now.

On Saturday, September 16 the City of Tybee is hosting an islandwide Irma Volunteer Relief Day.

If you would like to help, meet at the City Hall Auditorium with any materials and tools you may have.

Registration begins at 7:00 a.m. and groups and individuals with all skill sets are welcome.

For Tybee residents who may need help, call 1-800-451-1954. And for those who would like to continue volunteering after Saturday, call 912-651-7725 for more details.

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