Debris removal begins in county

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Debris removal in the county has begun, officials said.

“We’re actually just getting started. We’ve been operating forabout three days,” said John Coffey, the U.S. Army Corps ofEngineers project manager for Lincoln County.

The county contracted with the corps to handle debris removalafter speaking with a Federal Emergency Management Agencyrepresentative three weeks ago.

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Coffey said most of the crews are now concentrated in thesouthern half of the county, but “we expect to expand out fairlyrapidly.”

The biggest problem facing the crews, he said, is that much ofthe debris is still on private property and they cannot, by law,pick up anything off public property.

“One of the things county residents need to do – and need to donow – is get that debris to the side of the road,” said ChanceryClerk Tillmon Bishop.

Coffey agreed. He said contractors will make two passes throughthe county to remove debris.

The first pass, now under way, will remove vegetative debris,such as trees, limbs and stumps. The second pass will removevegetative debris and constructive debris, such as shingles andlumber. The two types of debris, however, must be piled separatelyfor pick up.

Many people, Bishop said, are burning their vegetative debris,which is potentially dangerous and in violation of a countyordinance.

The county is presently under a burn ban until Oct. 8, saidClifford Galey, director of the Lincoln County Civil Defense. Theban was recommended by the Mississippi Forestry Commission.

Galey said he did know whether the ban would be extended orallowed to expire on Oct. 8. He will meet with Forestry Commissionofficials later this week to weigh weather conditions and otherfactors to make that determination.