Friday, May 23, 2014

Debris Removal Issues and Questions

As we approach one month since the April 28 tornado that tore through Winston County, removal of debris from our properties and along the roadside has become a major topic across the community.

Debris removal amd monitoring firms have been hired by the City of Louisville and Winston County and the removal process should begin shortly.

Many individuals have questions relating to insurance coverage for debris removal and proper procedures to follow. WWN spoke with Rick Nunn, a representative of True North Emergency Management, the debris monitoring firm under contract to the city. Nunn stressed that the main objective of their firm and of any applied regulations is to not do anything that would jeopardize FEMA reimbursement to the community for debris removal.

There are some basic guidelines that property owners need to attempt to follow in terms of  removal and debris separation:

  • If residents choose to hire a contractor, or your insurance policy covers debris removal and you choose to use a contractor, do not place debris on the right-of-way. The cost of disposal is typically included in contract pricing.
  • If you have insurance for debris removal but it is not sufficient for complete removal (disposal, etc.), you need to expend those available funds to complete the process as far as possible.
  • Make your best attempt to sort your debris in the following manner:
  1. Vegetative debris (tree limbs, shrubs, etc)
  2. Construction/Demolition debris
  3. White goods (appliances, etc)
  4. E-goods (tv's, electronics)
  5. Household hazardous (cleaning solutions, automotive chemicals, etc)
  6. Normal household garbage
  • Move your debris as close to the side of the road as possible without blocking the road or creating a hazard. Contractors cannot come onto private property and all debris must be reached from the roadway. Contractors wil make every effort to remove all debris within the reach of their equipment.
  • Contractors will make a minimum of three passes over a period of time through an area for debris removal.
  • At this time - commercial debris is not eligible for pickup. (debris from commercial businesses). This may change in the future.
  • Do Not through normal household garbage on the debris pile. It will not be picked up by the debris contractor. Any bagged debris should be in clear plastic bags only. Items in black/brown bags will not be removed as the items inside cannot be seen.
  • Do not pile your debris in a manner that will block access to utility meters, mail boxes, etc.
Residents also need to be aware that a burn ban is still in effect across the county and the City of Louisville. The fire hazard is too great considering the amount of debris plus the burning of mixed debris can release toxins such as arsenic into the air.

Representatives from monitoring and debris removal contractors will be available during the Red Hills Festival on Saturday to answer questions and also to inform locals about job opportunities.