DEBRIS REMOVAL

With flooding from Tropical Storm Michael, many residents, property owners and business owners are now faced with undertaking the process of cleaning up and disposing of a wide variety of debris.

This pick-up is for storm-related debris only. Other items must be taken to the landfill or held until the county’s annual large item pick up that will take place early next year. Flooded or damaged vehicles, boats and motor homes will not be collected and must be removed by the owner at their expense.  

The pick-up is being conducted by Dare County Public Works personnel using county-owned equipment. Please be patient and know that pick-ups in a particular area will vary during the assigned week depending on the amount of debris to be collected. There will only be one pass - once collection has taken place in your area, do not place additional debris by the side of the road. Resources are limited and multiple passes will not be scheduled.    

With the storm debris pick-up being handled in-house, Dare County Public Works will assign all possible resources to the effort. It will be necessary to close the Rodanthe Recycling Center and cancel recycling collection for businesses until the storm debris pick-up is completed. The Recycling Centers in Manteo  and Buxton will remain open for business, operating on a regular schedule.

Martin’s Point, Hatteras Village, East Lake, Manns Harbor, and Stumpy Point - Debris must be sorted properly and placed in the right of way by Monday, October 22. Pick-up will be conducted Tuesday, October 23 through Friday, October 26.

Roanoke Island (Wanchese and unincorporated areas of Manteo), Buxton and Frisco - Debris must be sorted properly and placed in the right of way by Monday, October 29. Pick-up will be conducted Tuesday, October 30 through Friday, November 2.

Colington Harbor, Colington Island, Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo and Avon - Debris must be sorted properly and placed in the right of way by Monday, November 5 for pick-up. Pick-up in these communities will begin Tuesday, November 6.

Dare County will provide storm debris pick-up in the unincorporated areas of the county. A schedule will be announced as soon as established, but it is important for all debris to be sorted properly, as outlined below.  

Debris piles are to be set on the side of the road in the right of way. Please do not block driveways, storm drains or utilities.

Debris should be sorted as follows:

  • Vegetative - DO NOT BAG VEGETATIVE DEBRIS. This pile should consist of any yard debris such as tree limbs, leaves, pine straw, or grass.

  • Construction materials - This pile should consist of lumber, windows, doors, insulation, roofing, decking, cabinets, carpet, flooring, mattresses, and furniture.

  • Metal - This pile should consist of metal objects such as bikes, gas grills, metal lawn furniture, and appliances,  i.e. washers, dryers, refrigerators, and stoves.

  • Propane tanks - Propane tanks should be placed in a separate pile so that gas companies may retrieve them.

  • HHW (Household Hazardous Waste) - TV's, computers, used motor oil in spill proof containers, and any pesticide or other chemicals should be placed in a separate pile.

Recycle as much as you can to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills. Everything from water bottles to electronics can be recycled at several locations. To find recycling locations and a list of materials accepted, click here.

Do not burn debris or trash as it can impact the air quality and create additional hazards.

Flooded Homes: How to Clean Properly

In the event your home is flooded, please follow the tips below to clean your home and prevent illness.

Before going back to live in your home, take the following steps to safely clean your home:

  • Get the mess out. Remove all floodwater, dirt, and debris left behind by the floodwater.

  • Remove mold and mildew. Any materials or furnishings that soaked up water should be removed from the building.

  • Check out the floors. Carpet and padding cannot be cleaned well enough to prevent mold and mildew from growing. Throw them away.

  • Dry out walls. Walls that were wet should be stripped to the studs and the insulation removed. Walls must remain open to allow them to completely dry. Other wall cavities should be inspected for visible mold growth. Any area inside a wall cavity with visible mold growth should be opened, cleaned, decontaminated and dried.

  • Check Heating Ventilation and Air-Conditioning Systems (HVAC). The inside parts of heating and air-conditioning systems that contacted floodwater are hiding places for mold. The interior will need to be inspected, cleaned and decontaminated by professionals. Air registers (vents) and diffusers should be removed, cleaned, disinfected and reinstalled.

  • Salvage what you can. Personal property and furnishings that are moist or wet 24 hours after floodwater recedes will have mold growing in or on them. Upholstered furniture, mattresses, and furniture made of particleboard or wafer board should be thrown away.

  • Remove contaminants. Make sure that any chemical contamination and hazardous materials have been removed from the building. For proper disposal, contact your local waste disposal service.

  • Make sure that all parts of the building are dry before rebuilding or repairing. Mold will grow on replacement materials if the studs, subfloor or other building parts are not completely dry.


To ensure you clean and dry the right way, follow these instructions:

Nonporous materials (materials that don't soak up water) and furnishings and other surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and allowed to dry completely. First, scrub all surfaces with detergent and water and rinse well. (Scrubbing removes mold, mold spores, and the dirt that mold and mildew can grow on.) Then, disinfect everything. A liquid chlorine bleach solution (one cup bleach to one gallon water) should be used to disinfect and kill any remaining mold and mildew. 

Private Wells & Safe Drinking Water

If you rely on a private well for drinking water and it floods or you use electricity, then boil water for at least five minutes at a full rolling boil before using it for drinking, cooking, making ice or brushing teeth.  Potentially contaminated water should not be used for other hygiene purposes.

Infants under six months and pregnant women should not drink boiled water, because boiling water may concentrate harmful nitrates. The Dare County Department of Health & Human Services recommends these individuals drink bottled water. However, if bottled water is not available, boiled water is still preferred over untreated drinking water sources.

You should continue to use bottled water or to boil your well-water until tests on samples taken since the last flooding or loss of electricity show the water is safe.

Flood Insurance Claims

Septic Systems

During a storm, flooding and winds may damage septic systems within Dare County. Affected residents not served by central water and wastewater systems may need to take precautions to prevent possible sewage contamination. Human exposure to wastewater may lead to disease transmission.  

Those who have publicly supplied water service but private wastewater systems should also take precautions.

If your area is affected by the hurricane, assess your system and be prepared to take the following steps:

  • Wastewater systems may not work until floodwaters recede and the water table drops below the septic tank. If your property is flooded do not use your septic system.
  • Try to reduce the amount of debris such as yard waste, clean-up materials and sediment that may enter the septic tank and plumbing systems after the storm.
  • DO NOT continue to use a plumbing system if water or sewage surfacing near the septic system is visible.  Exposure to raw sewage increases the risk of disease. To reduce this risk, remove and discard household goods that become contaminated with sewage and cannot be disinfected, such as rugs, wall coverings and drywall. Wear rubber boots and waterproof gloves when cleaning up sewage. Contact the Dare County Department of Health & Human Services' Environmental Health Services Unit before beginning maintenance or repairs.