City of Athens organizes cleanup response - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

City of Athens organizes cleanup response

For now, residents are asked to divide debris by construction material, recyclables, metal and tin, appliances, and wood. For now, residents are asked to divide debris by construction material, recyclables, metal and tin, appliances, and wood.
ATHENS, AL (WAFF) -

Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks said Wednesday that city department heads have begun meeting to discuss a plan for disposal of storm debris once the city picks it up.

Athens city and Limestone County officials estimated Wednesday initial costs related to the infrastructure and response to the storm damage total $2.75 million. Those costs include debris removal and disposal.

For now, residents are asked to divide debris by construction material, recyclables, metal and tin, appliances, and wood. Piles should be in the right-of-way but not in a ditch or in the roadway. Do not put piles near downed power poles or lines.

In addition, the county offered additional guidelines. They suggest you burn debris on the property where it originated if at all possible. If not possible, carry it to a legal disposal site, such as a landfill or transfer station.

"Citizens do not need to be concerned that they have to get the debris by the road for pickup today," said Marks. "We will be picking up debris, probably for 60-90 more days."

Athens Utilities reports about 5,500 customers still without power, down from a high of 16,000. Most of the outages are west of Athens in the Coxey community.

Mayor Marks had previously said it could be another 2-3 days before power was fully restored to the area.

The city thanked crews from surrounding communities for helping reconnect 500 customers overnight Tuesday. Relief crews came from Decatur, Florence, and several communities from southern Tennessee.

Elm Street between Lucas Ferry Road and Hine Street remains closed. Police Chief Floyd Johnson reminds motorists not to ignore the barricades.

"Utility crews are putting poles and lines up, and motorists who drive around barricades put those workers at risk and are subject to a ticket," he said.

Volunteers who want to assist in relief efforts should contact the United Way of Athens-Limestone County at 419 South Marion Street, or register online. Volunteers are asked not to get in the way of emergency responders and utility workers.

Copyright 2014 WAFF. All rights reserved. 

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