Main Content

Debris Removal Operations Progressing with a $10 Million Boost from FEMA

Release date: 
October 8, 2017
Release Number: 
NR 013

ST. CROIX, Virgin Islands — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is providing more than $10 million in expedited funding to support efforts by the U.S. Virgin Islands government and federal partners to clean up and remove the large quantities of debris left by hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“Clearing hurricane-related debris from Virgin Island roadways and neighborhoods not only helps remove a health and safety hazard, it is a visible sign of recovery for all residents,” said FEMA’s Federal Coordinating Officer William Vogel. "These expedited funds, and more to come, will provide a valuable boost to island communities in their recovery efforts.”

As a result of the major disaster declarations for the U.S. Virgin Islands, FEMA is funding 100 percent of the costs of emergency debris clearance for 180 days from the declaration dates – until

March 4, 2018, for Hurricane Irma, and March 15, 2018, for Hurricane Maria.

FEMA is providing supplemental funding to the Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority (VIWMA) for costs to remove eligible household debris that is moved to public rights of way, but residents should follow VIWMA’s guidance.

With debris collection underway in residential neighborhoods, VIWMA asks that residents move hurricane-related debris as close to the edge of their property as possible without blocking vehicular traffic flow and to allow for the safe passage of emergency vehicles and repair crews. To have hurricane-related debris picked up it must first be sorted and may not include household garbage.

Waste must be separated into the following four categories:

  1. Whites: appliances such as stoves, refrigerators and microwaves.
  2. Electronics: such as radios, computers and TVs.
  3. Vegetation: such as trees, branches, grass and plants.
  4. Roofing or construction material: galvanized metal, wood, sheetrock, etc.




Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711/VRS - Video Relay Service) (TTY: 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish).

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

For official information on the recovery effort following the hurricanes, please visit or Follow us on twitter at

To donate or volunteer, contact the voluntary or charitable organization of your choice through the National Voluntary Agencies Active in Disasters (NVOAD) at  For those who wish to help, cash donations offer voluntary agencies the most flexibility in obtaining the most-needed resources and pumps money into the local economy to help businesses recover. The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands also has the “Fund for the Virgin Islands” at

Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 11:59