City gets help to remove brush

City gets help to remove brush

June 11th, 2011 by Cliff Hightower in News

Multiple piles of brush are sit along the side of Fernwood Circle in East Brainerd on Thursday. Widespread storm damage has caused a backlog for city brush pickup crews.

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

DEBRIS REMOVAL GUIDELINES


• Move all debris to the curb lines

• Debris should be placed in piles by category: brush or construction and demolition debris such as furniture, shingles, metal and fixtures

• 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: Chattanooga

Chattanooga will begin a massive cleanup of storm debris and brush on Monday as the city continues to recuperate from the massive storms that blew down trees and damaged houses more than a month ago.

Contractors will head to Brainerd first.

"I think the people have been patiently waiting," said Councilwoman Carol Berz, who represents most of the Brainerd area. "In some areas, it was a safety hazard."

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

On Tuesday, the City Council approved an agreement with two North Carolina-based contractors to pick up the storm debris. Byrd Brothers Emergency Services will pick up the debris while True North Emergency Services acts as a monitor to ensure all debris is picked up properly, said Lee Norris, deputy administrator of the city's Department of Public Works.

The contractors will be paid up to $2.5 million, based upon how much debris is collected.

Norris said Friday the contractors will work section by section across the entire city. The sections will be determined by garbage collection days, he said. Next week, the contractors will focus on areas with Monday garbage pickup.

The idea is to remove most of the debris in three to four weeks.

"The contractor will do one complete sweep of the city," Norris said, then there will be a slight break and the contractor will move through a second time, collecting any remaining debris.

The contractor will only pick up debris in the right-of-way. The two debris collection points on Lee and Cummings highways will be shut down to the general public as the contractors take debris to the sites, he said.

Norris said brush should be separated from construction and demolition materials.

City Council Chairwoman Pam Ladd said using out-of-town workers to get the job done is the right strategy. Public Works officials have said in the past it could take up to 18 weeks for their employees to remove all debris.

She said the city needed a new method to collect the leftover brush and debris from an unprecedented natural disaster.

"This was an event unparalleled," she said.