Official: Storm debris cleanup to take until late August or September

A private contractor hired by Macon has collected nearly 200,000 cubic yards of storm debris from the Mother's Day tornado, officials said today, and is only part way through the pick up process.

It will probably be late August or September before the entire job is done, said Bill Causey, Macon's director of Public Works. He, Mayor Robert Reichert and representatives from the company hired to haul tree limbs away from city residents' yards spoke to reporters at a news conference in front of a debris pile off Allied Industrial Road, while a line of dump trucks rumbled by to drop off their loads.

"I hope this will give (residents) some idea of what we're dealing with," Reichert said, speaking at times over the roar of a tree grinder. Officials said a full dump truck holds about 60 cubic yards of debris, and on average 12,000 cubic yards is picked up daily.

Causey said the mountain of trees — about 173,000 cubic yards — represented nearly 40 percent of what had been collected by Mobile, Ala.,-based DRC Emergency Services during their first pass through. Prior to that, rough estimates indicated the city and its residents had piled up about 80,000 cubic yards of debris at other drop-off sites, Causey said.

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