County clearing debris quickly

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Times-Journal News Editor

Though Hurricane Ivan huffed and puffed and blew trees down all over Dallas County, the county road crews, volunteer fire departments and Dallas County Emergency Management Agency have been working to get roads clear.

“At this point things are looking pretty good as far as having our roads cleared,” Dallas County Probate Judge Johnny Jones said. “I spoke with the county engineer and he said as best as we can determine all of them have been cleared. There may be some county roads we don’t know about that have debris on them.

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If there are, people should call us and we can get it done now.”

Jones said the county road crews have worked since the storm to get roads clear, but in an effort to clear the roads as quickly as possible, they moved the debris over to the right of way.

Now, they’re going back and clearing those as well.

EMA Director Brett Howard said his agency has just signed a contract with a firm to come and clear away the debris.

“We got a contract signed today with a debris removal agency it’s going to take care of everybody in this county including the citizens of Selma, Valley Grande and Orville,” he said.

“They’re going to start moving equipment in tomorrow and start moving debris Wednesday, that’s our goal.”

After clearing public property, the crews will be able to remove debris from private property, but there are a few requirements that must be met.

First, the state health officer has to declare the debris a health hazard.

Secondly, the crew must have authorization from the landowner to come on their property and remove the debris.

One of the most effective debris removal methods has been the old-fashioned away, according to Jones.

Neighbors have teamed up to help each other clear away fallen branches and trees in many cases.

“It’s just been really something to see to see how the community has come together and worked together, neighbors helping neighbors,” Jones said. “I just can’t say enough positive and good things about how people have worked together.”