The “second pass,” as it is called by the cleanup teams, will begin Monday, June 20, and will include badly damaged neighborhoods that have already seen the cleanup crews once.
“The second pass will be the final pass through these areas,” according to Troy Spence, director of the Cleveland-Bradley Emergency Management Agency.
Spence pointed out that the first pass is still under way in several areas, but that it is nearing its completion.
“The second pass will be made in order to accommodate residents who failed to have debris to the right-of-way and missed the first pass ... or, residents who had such a quantity of debris that it exceeded the right-of-way limitation to be eligible for removal,” Spence explained. “Residents should begin moving remaining storm-related debris that was not picked up on the first pass to the right-of-way.”
One of the most important reminders to impacted residents is that debris should be sorted according to the following specifications:
n Vegetative (whole trees, tree stumps, branches, trunks and other leafy material);
- Construction and Demolition Debris (damaged components of buildings and structures such as lumber, wood, drywall, metal, roofing material, metal, tile, carpeting, floor covering, windows, pipe, furniture and fixtures);
- White Goods (household appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, heat pumps, ovens, ranges, washing machines, clothes dryers and water heaters);
- Household Hazardous Wastes (unused containers of cleaners, corrosives, flammable products and paint, among others); and
- Small Debris which is bagged for pickup such as shingles and insulation, but no household garbage or food will be picked up.
Also, discarded propane tanks will be accepted, but they must be placed in a separate and distinguishable area.
Residents are also cautioned not to place debris in drainage ditches, around utility guide wires or fire hydrants.
A few additional reminders about the debris cleanup initiative include:
- Move all debris to the regularly maintained right-of-way of property; this is because contractors cannot enter private property to remove debris for any reason.
- Impacted residents who do not have insurance, and who need assistance in moving debris to the right-of-way, should contact the Bradley Baptist Association at 423-476-5493 to request volunteer services.
- Residents who are insured should verify that their privately hired contractors are taking responsibility for the removal of their demolition debris and/or reconstruction scrap materials. Insured demolition debris and reconstruction scrap materials should not be placed on the right-of-way for any reason because they are not eligible for FEMA-paid removal.
Residents are reminded the guidelines for debris removal are FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) regulations and failure to comply could jeopardize storm cleanup.
“Businesses and all rental property including homes, duplexes, mobile homes and apartments do not qualify for removal of storm brush and debris under FEMA guidelines,” Spence explained. “People who did not qualify for FEMA assistance are encouraged to go back to the Disaster Recovery Center (located at 10 Church St. at the corner of Church and Inman Street) to apply for assistance through the Small Business Administration. If you are declined by SBA, you can still apply for other needs assistance with FEMA.”
The downtown Cleveland FEMA center continues to operate Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“The center is reporting a recent increase in traffic as they have been processing approximately 30 applications a day,” Spence noted.
The Bradley County Resource Staging area on Keith Street is still accepting donations to help storm victims. Donations will be accepted through June 19.
Spence also pointed to another issue that has become a problem with the county’s storm recovery.
“EMA reminds everyone that some residents who were unaffected by the storms are putting so-called ‘spring-cleaning’ items by the curb for recovery crews to pick up,” the EMA director stressed. “FEMA emphasizes that Unified Recovery Group is contracted to remove storm debris and brush only. All other items will be left for the homeowner to haul away.”
Area residents wishing to offer direct assistance to tornado-impacted families are reminded the consolidated Cleveland/Bradley Disaster Relief fund continues to operate. Electronic and mailed donations are being accepted. Donors may donate electronically by visiting www.bradleydisasterrelief.org or mail contributions to United Way of Bradley County, P.O. Box 193, Cleveland, TN 37364.
Additional information about the Relief Fund, which was established by the Mayors’ Coalition, may be obtained by calling 423-716-1844.