More than 20,000 cubic yards of construction and demolition debris and brush have been moved out of the affected areas and hauled to the landfill or burned where possible.
True North Emergency management and Unified Recovery Group began actively hauling debris on May 1, just 17 days after the April 27 storms.
The Bradley County EMA reminds residents they can help the debris removal process by separating vegetative debris from construction and demolition debris where practical.
FEMA guidelines require it to be placed on the road right-of-way but not on the roadway and kept out of the drainage ditch if possible. Crews cannot remove debris from private property.
The Emergency Management Agency urges homeowners, insurance companies and private contractors involved in demolition of tornado damaged houses to check with utility companies before proceeding. It is imperative that gas lines and electrical power be turned off to ensure safety.
The Cleveland / Bradley County Disaster Relief Fund has received more than $21,000 in donations via the website, www.bradleydisasterrelief.org.
The website has a PayPal account and all funds are held by the United Way until allocated for the unmet needs of relief agencies and tornado victims. One hundred percent of the funds are being used for disaster relief in Bradley County.
The Bradley Baptist Association and their partnering agencies have mobilized more than 4,000 volunteers since the April 27th storms.
Their “chain saw” crews logged more than 26,500 volunteer hours and completed 998 jobs. The BBA utilized chain saws, tractors, bobcats, and utility trucks to assist storm victims in moving storm damaged trees and brush to the roadside.
Community organizations, churches, relief agencies and others who wish to participate in the Long Term Disaster Recovery effort in Bradley County are invited to attend an informational meeting scheduled for Monday, May 23.
The 10 a.m. meeting will be held at the Chamber of Commerce, 223 Keith St. This group will work to see that long-term needs of storm victims are being met. The EMA estimates this process could take 2 to 3 years.
The EMA central resource warehouse on Keith Street reports receiving more than $197,000 in “in-kind” donations of supplies since opening on April 28th. Most of the supplies have already been distributed.
The warehouse manager says an estimated $7,200 in supplies are now on hand. He is asking for donations of household goods, non-perishable food, cleaning supplies, kitchen utensils and small appliances. New towels, new linens and new pillows are also needed.
A relief center that opened at the Apison Seventh-day Adventist Church in Hamilton County is available for residents in southern Bradley County. A relief center remains open on Barney's Lane off 20th Street in northeast Cleveland with supplies to meet the needs of storm victims.
The Long Term Disaster Recovery Committee established by the Mayors' Coalition reports they now have a large warehouse available to accept and store building supplies.
Any kind of building supplies, from 2 X 4s, roofing, sheetrock to concrete block will be accepted. To donate building supplies to the long term recovery effort contact Annie Kinworthy at 476-6947.
The building materials will be used to help storm victims repair their damaged homes.