Clean-up hazards - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Clean-up hazards

Piles of debris pose health risk to crews. Piles of debris pose health risk to crews.
Narrow roads are keeping clean-up crews out of Buck Pocket. Narrow roads are keeping clean-up crews out of Buck Pocket.
Families displaced after the tornadoes are looking for new homes. Families displaced after the tornadoes are looking for new homes.
A Limestone County man was arrested for looting. A Limestone County man was arrested for looting.

Getting rid of hazardous materials

WAFF 48's Elizabeth Gentle saw and smelled rotting food today in areas devastated by those 28 tornados (number surveyed by the National Weather Service so far). Besides the food, public officials fear that a variety of even more hazardous materials will leach into creeks and streams and the air. Some are also burning debris that could include fiberglass or asbestos-filled insulation. Elizabeth and WAFF's Bobby Shuttleworth are on the scene with federal cleanup crews as they assess and triage North Alabama to determine where, when and how to begin the arduous task of finding the bottom of April 27th.

Our Stephen McLamb says debris is piled some 20 feet into the air on Buck Island in Marshall County! He's there sending us video and photos and its déjà vu of Preston Island a few years ago. He'll give you a first look at the island and the narrow roads that are holding up progress.

The temperatures are scorching and last night we saw a widespread power outage. Utilities spokesmen have been warning us that the power grid is fragile and will be for weeks. At this writing, Huntsville Utilities says it does not plan to schedule blackouts or rolling outages. All utility companies are encouraging customers to set their thermostat to 78 degrees, be smart about using large appliances and refrain from using unnecessary lighting.

If there was a glut in real estate before April 27th, the housing numbers are changing now.  Apartments and homes are getting snatched up by storm victims. We'll talk to some realtors about the winds of change.

Animal shelters are overflowing-still, 14 days after the tornados. It's heartbreaking. Pets are hoping their "people" will show up to get them. We'll take you to one shelter to show you wants going on.

If you find yourself filling out FEMA paperwork, be careful. The least little mistake can get you disqualified. We'll show you what to look out for.

A looter was arrested in Elkmont today, or should I say a "Lewter" was arrested. We'll tell you what 25 year old Jesse Dale Lewter is accused of stealing near McCulley Mill Road.

Don't forget to log on to waff.com if you need specific storm-related information. It's on our "Road to Recovery" section.

See you tonight at 5,

Liz Hurley
WAFF 48 News

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