Just over a month after a deadly EF3 tornado ripped through parts of the Chattanooga area, relief deadlines are fast approaching, and 90 residents are still waiting for help to remove debris from their property because there aren't enough volunteers, according to Hamilton County Emergency Management.
The April 12-13 storms killed at least four people in Southeast Tennessee and left 85,000 without power, according to Gov. Bill Lee's administration. It damaged or destroyed more than 550 residential properties and affected another 2,300 structures.
"The county is still in desperate need of volunteers," said Amy Maxwell, spokeswoman for the county's emergency management agency.
Those willing to volunteer should call the Volunteer Reception Center at 423-541-6915 or 423-300-6592.
Friday is the last day that residents can call the crisis cleanup hotline to have storm debris picked up. Starting Saturday, they should call the Volunteer Reception Center, according to emergency management.
Debris placed out for collection must be debris generated by the storms on April 12 and into the following day. It must be separated into different categories for contractors to pick up no later than June 1. Any debris placed after June 1 will not be removed.
May 22: Friday is the last day that residents can call the crisis cleanup hotline to have storm debris picked up. Starting Saturday, they should call the Volunteer Reception Center (423-541-6915 or 423-300-6592).
June 1: Debris management efforts for tornado victims end this day.
June 23: This is the last day to apply for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance. The link to apply is disasterassistance.gov.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency's guidelines for storm debris include these rules:
— Do not place debris on top of fire hydrants, utility poles, electrical boxes and storm drains.
— Do not place debris in front of or around a mailbox.
— Do not place debris in front of or around your driveway, as emergency vehicles may need to enter the area.
— Do not block or dump debris into the storm drains or ditches. This will cause a flood hazard.
— Do not place construction debris along the right of way during rebuilding process that was not "generated" by the storm/tornado.
— Aid contractors by sweeping access and loose debris from the street in front of your house.
— Create separate hazardous debris piles, such as paint cans, propane tanks, etc., from construction and demolition debris piles. This will aid the expedited collection of debris from the roadway.
— Drive with extreme caution in areas with large debris piles.
The deadline to apply for federal assistance is June 23.
For more information on tornado relief efforts, please visit the Hamilton County Office of Emergency Management's website at www.hamiltonready.org