Final stage of debris removal from January tornado has begun in the city

Published 12:14 pm Tuesday, May 16, 2023

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The final stage of debris removal in the city of Selma has begun this week with a $9 million bid awarded to DRC Emergency. The bid includes the removal of debris from public and private property, including New Live Oak Cemetery, which had remained mostly untouched since the January 12 tornado that ravaged the city. Debris removed from private property will only be conducted upon approval of the property owner, something the city has been working to get by visiting properties in the city affected by the storm.

The services awarded in the bid include loading and hauling vegetation, including trees, and construction and demolition material to landfills within 15 miles of the city limits. It also includes removal of “hazardous” tree stumps, hanging limbs, and flush cutting trees from six inches to over 48 inches in circumference.

DRC Emergency’s bid was $9,507,930. Others bidding were Smitherman Brothers [$12,299,400], TFR Enterprises [$10,491,600], Am Site Development [$10,238,850], KDF Enterprises [$16,309,350], and Ceres [$10,381,425].

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The city will be reimbursed for 82.5% of the total costs [$7,844,042], with 75% being reimbursed to the city by FEMA, and 12.5% by the State of Alabama. The process is required to be monitored, and the city of Selma is training qualified monitors with FEMA providing training on proper procedures and records management.

In a memo from city director of planning and development Danielle Wooten to Selma Mayor James Perkins, Jr., Wooten outlined savings from the city employing its own debris monitoring.

“Documentation was provided to show a comparison of the amount that was expended during Hurricane Zeta in 2020 via debris monitoring services performed by contractor at an amount of $299,000 in comparison to the estimated not to exceed amount of $150,000 for force account labor based on the phased debris management approach.”