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Corps may begin area cleanup by weekend

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers emergency operations specialistsaid a debris survey team should be in the area Friday or Saturdayto begin the cleanup process.

During today’s emergency briefing for Brookhaven and LincolnCounty officials, John Coffey said the team will search for a 40-to 50-acre area for debris dumping. He said he will need a list ofpriority areas for cleanup, such as school bus routes, and a listof local contractors willing to assist in the effort.

“The more local folks we have, the better chances are of gettingstarted early,” Coffey said.

There is a 90-day period for Corps assistance with cleanup,although Coffey indicated that could be extended through theFederal Emergency Management Agency.

Coffey said trees and vegetative debris would be handled first.To assist with clean up, Coffey said, residents should move theirdebris to the curb as soon as possible.

Coffey said he needed an estimate of the amount of debris in thecity and county. He also said he would be traveling the area todayto get an idea about what will have to be done.

Coffey said he hoped cleanup activities could begin nextweek.

“This is a huge mission,” he said. “We’re in the beginning ofresponding to the largest natural disaster we’ve ever had.”

Also at today’s briefing, Brookhaven-Lincoln County CivilDefense Director Clifford Galey reminded officials of the burn bancurrently in effect for the county. The city already prohibits openair burning.

Due to current conditions, he said authorities would be focusingon enforcing the burn ban currently in place.

“Today’s going to be worst day we’ve had for the threat of firedamage,” Galey said.