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Officials set new Sunday deadline for debris cleanup

All Lincoln County storm debris must be placed at the roadsideby Sunday for crews to remove it, disaster officials announcedtoday.

City, county and Federal Emergency Management Agency officialsmade the announcement during their weekly update meeting thismorning at the Lincoln County Government Complex. Cleanupoperations countywide are nearing completion, according to the U.S.Army Corps of Engineers.

“There’s not a lot left in the county, but it’s sporadic so itwill still take some time,” said Garry Marcum, Lincoln Countydebris removal supervisor for the Corps.

Areas west of Interstate 55 are virtually finished, he said. TheCorps has completed two passes of the area and is relying onsupervisors to notify them of any remaining “hot spots.” They willcontinue to pick up debris in the area until the Sundaydeadline.

To the east of I-55, crews are about 90 percent complete withtheir first pass, said Jason Santiago, an AshBritt Construction Co.representative. AshBritt has been contracted by the Corps fordebris-removal operations.

“We’re moving along real fast now,” he said. “The west is clearso I have all my trucks in the eastern part of the county now.”

Officials are reminding residents that any debris on publicrights-of-way is subject to removal after receiving severalcomplaints from some residents who had plans to use the debris forfirewood or lumber.

“I had one person say we picked up $600 worth of lumber and hewanted it or his money back,” Santiago said. “We need to be clearthat if it is on the right-of-way it will be picked up.”

Operations in the city are expected to be completed today,Marcum said. Crews had already completed general removals and havebeen concentrating on removing stumps for the past week.

“Basically, all we have left to do is pick up four stumps andwe’re done,” he said. “We’ll get those today.”

City aldermen asked Santiago to investigate a few otherlocations before wrapping up their operations.

Mayor Bob Massengill said he would release the federalrepresentatives from their obligations to the city Thursday ifthose locations had been cleared.