Cost of storms on Cleveland, Bradley County could hit $10 million

Cost of storms on Cleveland, Bradley County could hit $10 million

May 3rd, 2011 by Randall Higgins in News

Storm damage is seen along Brooklawn Trail in the Bates Pointe subdivision in Bradley County. Photo by Beth Burger

CLEVELAND, Tenn. - Cleanup costs from last week's storms could hit $10 million for Cleveland and Bradley County governments, according to reports given Monday to the Bradley County Commission.

Nine people were killed and more than 600 homes damaged or destroyed, officials with the Bradley County Emergency Management Agency told the commission.

Salvation Army mobile kitchen locations

Tuesday, May 3 locations

Chattanooga: Apison area, Shepherd Hills Trailer Park in Tiftonia

Cleveland: Dalton Pike near Walmart and the Salvation Army on Inman Street

Ringgold/Catoosa County: City Hall, Ingles. and Cherokee Valley Road

Also: The Comfort Center at the Salvation Army on North Moore Road will be open today from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. providing snacks and hot showers.

Bradley, Hamilton, Greene and Washington counties have been approved to receive federal assistance in both the individual and public assistance categories.

Residents of those counties who sustained storm losses can begin applying for assistance immediately through the Federal Emergency Management Agency by registering online at or by calling 1-800-621-3362.

Commission seeks contracts

On Monday night, the Bradley County Commission officially asked for pricing estimates on storm-related debris removal. Contractors have until 10 a.m. Friday to submit proposals.

Commissioners said they expect the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reimburse 75 percent of the cost for debris removal. They also are hoping the state will pay 12.5 percent of the remaining balance, but that's not guaranteed.

County officials will award the contracts Friday.

County EMA Director Troy Spence summed up the expenses as they are known thus far, but said they could go up:

• Cleveland and Bradley County cleanup costs stood at nearly $4.2 million Sunday evening. Cleveland Utilities General Manager Tom Wheeler estimated the utility's costs at $1.5 million so far, and Volunteer Energy estimated last week a $2.5 million cost.

• Bradley County Road Superintendent Tom Collins said his department has spent $55,000 above normal operating costs so far.

• Cleveland city government estimates a cost of more than $25,000. The Bradley County Sheriff's Office estimates its costs will exceed $65,000. The Bradley County Fire and Rescue Department expects costs near $30,000.

Landfill fees break

Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis on Monday announced reduced landfill costs for those carrying storm debris to the dump.

Brush only can be taken to the Tri-State Exhibition Center at no charge. Construction and demolition debris is $20 a ton at the landfill. Mixed garbage and debris is $25 a ton at the landfill, a 30 percent reduction in the posted rate, Davis said.

Those rates will remain through May, he said.

For those who can't get to the landfill, a massive cleanup is getting into gear, Davis said.

Meanwhile, the community continues to rally around those who suffered losses in the storms.

On Monday, MainStreet Cleveland announced that next weekend's Relay For Life, an annual fundraising event for the American Cancer Society, will include disaster relief efforts.

Clevelander Steve Watson, from the Discovery Channel's "Monster House" and HGTV's "Yard Attack," will be here this week to take part in the Relay For Life, which begins at 9 p.m. Friday and continues until 10 p.m. Saturday.

A tent for relief donations of nonperishable food items, toiletries, feminine hygiene products and such will be at the corner of Broad and First streets downtown on the courthouse square during the relay. The American Red Cross will be at the tent to accept monetary donations.

Contact Randall Higgins at or 423-314-1029.

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