LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) — Tornadoes across six counties. That means hundreds of tons of everything from trees to roofs, siding and furniture has to be cleaned up and hauled off. Cities and counties are just now beginning to address the problem as clean up and recovery efforts start to gear up.
A drive through East Columbus and Lowndes County tells a tale of a storm. It’s got to be picked up and it’s got to go somewhere. From Lee and Itawamaba to Montgomery and Winston, it’s a problem cities and counties are beginning to plan for.
“East and north of Gardner Boulevard to the eastern section of the city. We are accepting the debris at the landfill,” said Columbus Mayor Robert Smith.
“Starting Monday morning or sometime Monday, the beginning of next week. We’ve got private contractors going to be hired. And we’re going pick up all the debris that’s brought to the county at the edge of the road,” said Lowndes County Supervisor Harry Sanders.
In The Friendly City, utility trucks were already on East Columbus streets Thursday morning.
“Is assisting the Columbus Light And Water department on clearing the lines, getting some of the trees off the lines,” said Smith.
“Most of the hot spots right now are in the New Hope area. And Hidden Lake Area, and Bersheeba Road,” said Sanders.
Other issues involve sorting and separating materials, environmental concerns at landfills like the one in Winston County and all kinds of other regulations. The storm-struck counties qualify for federal assistance that will repay them 75 percent of their expenses on everything from gas and tires to labor and dumping fees. But they don’t get a blank check.
“With a photograph of the truck, where the location is. Then we have to have to haul it to the landfill and take another photograph of the truck being unloaded. its a lot of paperwork,” said Sanders.
Winston County also is looking at contracting out some debris collection. But they’ll try to save money by doing some themselves. But in the hard-hit town of Louisville, Mayor Will Hill knows it’s a long road ahead. His advice applies to folks in every community. And fortunately, many residents already realize it.
“Well its a mess, but I mean I know its a lot going on and you know we just, you know its going to take patience,” said Teresa Williams.
Be watching for announcements from your local government on how and when to expect debris pickup to be handled.