LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – When you pull out of your driveway, having a blowout or a flat tire is probably the last thing on your mind.
However, for one Lowndes County resident, it’s a daily fear.
Jennifer Sanders has lived next to Steel Dynamics for a little over a year now.
Already, she said the fallen scrap metal has cost her thousands of dollars in new tires and other car repairs.
“That’s where the busted tires and the busted windshields come from, right there,” said Sanders.
Sanders walks along the road near her home. She’s looking for scrap metal– something that isn’t always visible at first glance.
“You get sharp pieces like this… little shards,” said Sanders.
Even though Sanders has only lived here for a little over a year, her mother-in-law has lived in this spot for 10 years– before the steel mill opened.
Sanders said there’s no telling how many pounds of scrap metal she’s collected over the last decade… some pieces dating back to 2014.
“It’s constant anxiety because you don’t want to leave your driveway because you know that you’re gonna have to look and possibly run over some metal scrap in the road,” said Sanders.
Sanders has two children. She said her fear is amplified when they are in the car with her.
“It’s very frightening to think that if I run over something, they could be in the car with me when I have a blowout or something on the highway. It scares me to death thinking they could be in the car with me when something like that happens,” said Sanders.
We contacted Steel Dynamics. Here’s their statement.
“SDI is aware of the issue and is sympathetic to the concerns raised. The scrap is unloaded at the port and transported to the mill by third parties. Those parties are local and understand their responsibility to contain the material. To help the community, SDI pays to clean the roads with a magnet…”
Sanders said that’s simply not enough.
“I feel that the steel company is responsible because they are the ones who contract out the haulers. The haulers are responsible because they’re the ones who haul it from point ‘A’ to point ‘B,'” said Sanders.
“We should be able to drive on the roads and not have to worry about being injured,” said Sanders.
Sanders said on any given day, the company’s magnet will collect 35 to 75 pounds of scrap metal off the road.