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Cleanup finally begins on Trumann tornado debris

Published: May. 4, 2022 at 6:11 PM CDT
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TRUMANN, Ark. (KAIT) - It has been 145 days since tornadoes struck Trumann, leaving a large debris field in the middle of town.

After a couple of months, the field became a health hazard, so much so that the state stepped in.

The field harbored mice, rats, and even snakes that made their way to nearby homes, which is why residents were thrilled when they saw the trucks cleaning up.

“I am more than excited,” Pamala Webb said. “We’ve had debris fly from down here from there. We’ve had to clean our yards up several times.”

Webb said having broken glass, sharp objects, and dangerous tools near so many homes was a recipe for disaster.

“There are so many kids that live down there,” she said. “I was so scared one of them was going to run into it and really hurt themselves.”

Latrisha Woodruff with the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management said the hardest part is finding somewhere to put it all.

“They are trying to see if some of it can be recycled,” she said. “They are also looking for approved landfills that can take it.”

After waiting for months to see if they would qualify for federal funding, Trumann officials realized the debris field became a health hazard for those who live near it.

“We are binging in multiple agencies to help us clear this out because it is definitely going to take some time,” Woodruff said.

There is no timetable on how long the clean-up will take, but Woodruff said crews will work very hard to get it done in no time.

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