First phase of debris cleanup nearly complete

First phase of debris cleanup nearly complete

July 2nd, 2011 by Cliff Hightower in News

Brush lies on the side of Igou Gap Road on Friday in Chattanooga.

Photo by Allison Carter /Times Free Press.


Contractors will remove brush over the next several weeks. The areas the contractors will go to are as follows:

• 1st areas: Brainerd, Missionary Ridge and East Chattanooga

• 2nd areas: North Chattanooga, North Hixson and Mountain Creek

• 3rd areas: Big Ridge, Murray Hills and Highway 58

• 4th areas: Bonnie Oaks and East Brainerd

• 5th areas: Alton Park, St. Elmo and Lookout Valley

Source: City of Chattanooga


• Move all debris to the curb lines

• Debris should be placed in piles by category: brush in one pile, construction and demolition debris in another

• Do not place debris in plastic bags

• Continue calling 311 for brush collection

• Avoid placing debris in drainage ditches or around utility poles, fire hydrants, mail boxes or other structures

Source: City of Chattanooga

Workers have removed about a fifth of the debris that has piled up in Chattanooga since a series of storms tore up trees and houses this spring.

Officials divided the city into five sections for debris removal and have almost cleared the first one, an area that includes Brainerd, Missionary Ridge and East Chattanooga.

Next up crews will move into a section that includes North Chattanooga, North Hixson and Mountain Creek, said Justin Holland, sanitary supervisor for the city.

"It's going to be several more weeks" until all the debris is removed, Holland said.

Chattanooga crews were working to remove the debris, but there was so much of it that the city hired contract workers to help starting June 13.

The city will pay the contractors up to $2.5 million depending on how much brush they collect.

Holland said city crews are cleaning up federal and state roads, while the contractors are working in the residential areas.

Several tornadoes rolled through the region April 27, killing about 80 people and leaving homes and businesses from Rainsville, Ala., to Ringgold, Ga., to Apison, Tenn., in ruins. Straightline winds and tornadoes also left debris - from ripped up trees to shredded roof shingles - piled in Chattanooga yards.

Two contractors have been hired to remove the debris. Byrd Brothers Emergency Services will pick up the debris, while True North Emergency Services acts as a monitor to ensure all debris is collected properly.

The crews are working section by section of the city determined by garbage collection days.

Steve Leach, administrator of Public Works, said residents need to be patient.

"You've got to expect its going to take awhile just based upon the volumes," he said.

Council Chairwoman Pam Ladd said Friday she expects the cleanup to take awhile considering the catastrophic event that created the mess. She said no one should be surprised.

"We were told up front we were looking at this going on for up to 15 to 18 weeks," she said.