Bradley County storm recovery cleanup crews are now projecting July 15 as the target date for completing the massive operation that began two months ago.
The rush to the finish was even compared Thursday by one cleanup leader as being similar to an ice cream truck rolling through a neighborhood. When affected residents see it coming, they double their pace in getting remaining brush and debris to the right of way.
But Troy Spence, director of the Cleveland-Bradley Emergency Management Agency, said the broad sweep of devastated neighborhoods is nearing its completion and could be finished by the end of next week.
Rock Malone of Unified Recovery Group said during a Thursday planning session, “It’s like driving an ice cream truck through a neighborhood. Residents with storm debris try to rush to get their debris to the roadside as we are making passes.”
“This monumental effort began almost two months ago on May 13 and crews will be finished by July 15,” Spence said. “More than 128,260 cubic yards of debris and brush have been removed from the storm-affected areas so far. That figure represents 2,443 truck loads collected in the county and 1,013 truck loads collected in the city.”
Officials with the cleanup and monitoring crews continue to sweep the city and county and a daily list of tasks is being made to help direct them.
“We have a list of roads and neighborhoods which have been cleaned. Bates Pointe should be completed today,” said Spence.
As from the beginning, debris such as vegetation, construction or demolition debris and other items must be FEMA approved for pickup.
Pages and pages of documented progress across the county reflect the amount of work which has been done, according to Spence.
“The second pass began on June 20 and each road and neighborhood where debris has been cleared since the final pass, has been added to a ‘Clear List’,” Spence explained.
Residents are encouraged to visit the CBEMA website at www.bradleyco.net/emahome.aspx to download and view vital information.
Bradley County residents who do not have Internet access are welcome to call the CBEMA office at 728-7289 to verify whether their street has been cleared, according to Spence.
“The areas listed on the Clear List will not be revisited and FEMA regulations prohibit crews from collecting debris on these routes. Anyone having eligible debris that has not yet been collected during the second pass, please call our office at 728-7289,” Spence said.
Meanwhile, board members of the Long Term Recovery Organization met Thursday afternoon and went into a closed session to go over information regarding the hiring of a director to move forward in the recovery from April 27th deadly tornadoes.
A new director should be hired sometime next week, according to Matt Ryerson, board member of LTRO.
Spence expressed during the meeting held at the Cleveland-Bradley Chamber of Commerce, that rescue, relief and recovery efforts have all moved in a swift and organized manner as long-term relief now enters the equation regarding recovery from the storms which destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes.