Tornado debris removal begins in the Pine Belt - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Tornado debris removal begins in the Pine Belt

Lamar County begins debris removal on Sullivan Kilrain Road Thursday. Source: WDAM Lamar County begins debris removal on Sullivan Kilrain Road Thursday. Source: WDAM

Pine Belt counties hit by Saturday's tornado are starting debris removal and outlining how citizens can help expedite clean up.

"We begin what's kind of the second phase of the disaster," said Jody Waits, Lamar County administrator. "Now we're beginning the clean up of the debris. Lamar County's work crews will be out and about in the areas the were affected picking up the debris off of the county right of way." 

Dozens of trucks and crews began debris removal on Sullivan Kilrain Road in Lamar County on Thursday.

"Our county already operates a fleet of trucks where we do limb pick up on a regular basis, so we already had the workforce, the equipment ready to go," Waits said. "We're blessed to be able to get on it pretty quick to help these people get their lives back in order as best they can."

Petal Mayor Hal Marx said his city is also already picking up debris, but said the city only has four trucks right now. 

"We will be approving a engineering firm (Friday) to oversee our effort, so that we comply with FEMA guidelines and can be reimbursed," Marx said. "After we hire the firm to monitor our pick up, we will be hiring outside contractors to help. That will add many more trucks and crews to the operation."

Both Waits and Marx are asking people to separate debris if they can.

"If they could separate the vegetative, that would be trees and limbs and that sort of thing, from the construction and demolition if they've got structures that were damaged," Waits said. "If they had any white goods, appliances, (if) all those things could be separated, that would be great. Anything that's hazardous, set it aside. Electronics, keep them in separate piles. Obviously, don't put anything on a fire hydrant or out in the middle of the road if possible."

Waits said household garbage can be put into garbage cans and will be collected as usual. 

While Marx asks residents to try to separate their trash, he said the city will still pick it up if it is already piled together. Piles should not be taller than six feet.

Right now, Marx estimates clean up will take three to four months in Petal, but hopes to beat that estimate.

In Lamar County, Waits said pick up should take three to four weeks "of intense work," with long-term rebuilding and recovery efforts taking several months. He said debris removal will happen largely on Fridays and Saturdays, and asked drivers to be careful while crews and residents are out cleaning.

Copyright WDAM 2017. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • First Alert: Heat advisories issued for Simpson, Lawrence counties

    First Alert: Heat advisories issued for Simpson, Lawrence counties

    Thursday, July 19 2018 4:58 PM EDT2018-07-19 20:58:00 GMT
    The heat indices could reach the 108 range on Friday and Saturday in our neck of the woods. (Image source: WDAM)The heat indices could reach the 108 range on Friday and Saturday in our neck of the woods. (Image source: WDAM)
    The heat indices could reach the 108 range on Friday and Saturday in our neck of the woods. (Image source: WDAM)The heat indices could reach the 108 range on Friday and Saturday in our neck of the woods. (Image source: WDAM)

    There is a heat advisory for two counties in the WDAM viewing area. They are Simpson and Lawrence counties. The advisory will be in effect from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Thursday.

    More >>

    There is a heat advisory for two counties in the WDAM viewing area. They are Simpson and Lawrence counties. The advisory will be in effect from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Thursday.

    More >>
  • Mississippi K-9 officer dies of heat stroke inside deputy car

    Mississippi K-9 officer dies of heat stroke inside deputy car

    Thursday, July 19 2018 4:49 PM EDT2018-07-19 20:49:34 GMT
    Dog dies in car; Source: Hinds Co. SODog dies in car; Source: Hinds Co. SO

    A Hinds County K-9 officer died of a heat stroke inside a deputy car.  Hinds County Sheriff is now taking safety precautions to protect his team of Drug and Bomb Detection K9’s

    More >>

    A Hinds County K-9 officer died of a heat stroke inside a deputy car.  Hinds County Sheriff is now taking safety precautions to protect his team of Drug and Bomb Detection K9’s

    More >>
  • Former sales rep arrested on violations of pretrial release

    Former sales rep arrested on violations of pretrial release

    Thursday, July 19 2018 3:02 PM EDT2018-07-19 19:02:55 GMT
    Jay Schaar was arrested on July 10 for violating the conditions of his pretrial hearing. (Photo Source: WDAM)Jay Schaar was arrested on July 10 for violating the conditions of his pretrial hearing. (Photo Source: WDAM)

    Jay Schaar, a former pharmaceutical sales representative, was arrested in Gulfport on July 10.  Based on court documents, the arrest was a result of violations of conditions of his pretrial release. Schaar pleaded guilty on July 25, 2017 to conspiracy to commit health care fraud in a scheme to defraud TRICARE--- a health care program for uniformed service members and their families--- of more than $2.3 million.  Back in March, Schaar took the stand in a fede...

    More >>

    Jay Schaar, a former pharmaceutical sales representative, was arrested in Gulfport on July 10.  Based on court documents, the arrest was a result of violations of conditions of his pretrial release. Schaar pleaded guilty on July 25, 2017 to conspiracy to commit health care fraud in a scheme to defraud TRICARE--- a health care program for uniformed service members and their families--- of more than $2.3 million.  Back in March, Schaar took the stand in a fede...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly