Jonesboro to bid out storm debris clean-up

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Storm debris clean-up efforts in Jonesboro have been slow going.

"There's a lot more debris than we thought," Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin told Region 8 News.

Now to assist in clean-up efforts, the city of Jonesboro plans on dipping into their reserve funds as it's been nearly three weeks since the storm hit and debris still lines Jonesboro roads.

Originally, the city of Jonesboro was going to pick up all of the debris but in a few weeks, they won't be anymore.

"The damage is obvious," Danyelle Duffel told Region 8 News as she showed us the storm damage to her home. "It broke the lights and smashed our air conditioner units."

Duffel said the pecan tree on her property was no match for the strong winds that rolled through Region 8 on June 5.

"The tree set on our house for awhile," Duffel explained.

A tree removal company came in a week after the storm to cut the tree up. Duffel said it took three days for the tree company to do that and now, the tree debris is just sitting in her front yard.

"We're gonna be dealing with this for a long time," she said.

It's a similar scene in so many other Jonesboro neighborhoods, as the city advised residents to move storm debris to the side of the road for pickup.

"We heard that they were supposed to be helping," Duffel said, "but when we seen just how many on this street, we thought 'that's gonna take forever!'"

After working on removing tree debris for nearly three weeks now, the city is learning how true that is.

"With the equipment that we have and the debris that's here, it would take us probably til the end of this year just to do nothing but that," Mayor Perrin said.

Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin told Region 8 News that because it rained for a week following the storm, many Jonesboro residents are just now moving their debris to the street.

"We've had our street and sanitation department working daily, six days a week on this and also burning overtime."

Perrin said those city employees need to get back to their normal duties and in a few weeks, Perrin said the city will have to pull street and sanitation workers from storm clean-up duties.

"We need to get this done very quickly and get it done professionally and get someone in here that's got the equipment to do it," Perrin said.

Someone else will be coming in to take over the job though as the city is currently accepting bids for storm debris clean-up.

"We feel like we need to bid this out and get a company to come in and do just like they did during the 2009 ice storm."

Money to pay for the clean-up will come from reserve funds in the city.

"The city is fortunate to have enough money in reserves to be able to pay for this," Perrin said.

The city won't know how much clean-up will cost until all the bids come in. Until a bid is accepted for storm clean-up, city employees will continue to pick up debris.

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