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Cities ponder storm debris cleanup

December 31, 2012

Cleanup of debris such as this tree that fell on the home of Rebekah Beltran will begin soon. Photo courtesy of Rebekah Beltran.

The Christmas Day storm that dumped from 6 to 10 inches of snow in central Arkansas has left a growing pile of debris in its wake. Fallen trees, limbs and other yard waste have been cleared and accumulated.
Residents have begun to ask if there will be an effort to assist with the removal of the debris. The Saline Courier contacted local mayors for their response.
Benton Mayor David Mattingly said, "On Friday, I spoke with County Judge Lanny Fite regarding the storm damage as it pertains to the city of Benton. Governor Beebe has declared a statewide disaster, and Judge Fite has issued a similar declaration for Saline County. He is contacting the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM), who will be visiting Saline County next week for an assessment of the damages. As this process unfolds, the city will respond accordingly and support the judge’s effort to seek funding to assist in the clean up. While we attempt to locate a dump/burn site, our citizens are encouraged to begin bringing debris curbside to facilitate the pickup and removal process. There is a massive amount of debris to be picked up, and no doubt, it is going to take awhile to get it all done; so be patient while we work to get it accomplished."
Bryant Mayor Jill Dabbs responded by saying, "In a few weeks when the weather improves and residents have had time to clean up their properties, the city of Bryant will provide curbside pick-up for yard debris. We will announce the exact dates by ward via Code Red and the city website, www.cityofbryant.com. All residents are encouraged to sign up for telephone, text and email alerts via Code Red and those who have smartphones should download the Code Red app."
Mayor Jeff Arey of Haskell says, "Yes we will be cleaning up storm debris that is in street right of way.  We cannot clean up debris from undeveloped lots."
Mayor Johnny McMahan of Bauxite was also contacted, but no response was received by press time. The Saline Courier will report updates from other cities and any plans that are made as they become available.

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