County Attorney David Hogue spoke at a press conference in the Mayflower damage area on Monday “to advise the public yet again on debris removal, and preach a message of hope.”
Here’s what you need to know about debris:
The county has come to an agreement with federal authorities “to cut through the red tape” and get the piles of sorted debris trucked out of the county’s damage areas. Those trucks have been running today.
“Judge Dodson, artfully I would say, is using the relationships that he built with a lot of agencies through the mayflower oil spill” to get waste management facilities identified and approved as the debris’ final destination,” Hogue said.
Federal agencies taking debris will be taking it to locations for disposal. Private contractors will be taking it to locations of their choice.
Hogue said the county is working to make a video that will hopefully leave little question about how debris should be sorted and arranged at the front of damaged properties.
Residents can dispose of debris by placing debris at the road in front of their property for pick-up, or by using a contractor. When placing debris at roadside, residents should be careful not to cover or impede access to utility meters, as meters may be damaged during removal. Residents opting for roadside pick-up must separate debris into six (6) categories:
• Vegetative debris (tree limbs, shrubs, etc)
• Construction/Demolition debris
• White goods (appliances, etc)
• E-goods (tv’s, electronics)
• Household hazardous (cleaning solutions, automotive chemicals, etc)
• Normal household garbage (will be picked by normal means)
And the message of hope came after news of further tragedy:
“I would like to avoid the issue of any more fatalities, but I have to announce that I have heard confirmation of an infant fatality this morning,” Hogue said. “The news was that a woman who was pregnant sustained injuries during the storm on Sunday night. She was in the hospital with those injuries. Her baby was born, basically took a breath, and that was it.
“One thing that I ask the public to understand is that, as fast as we in county government and federal government for that matter and state government are moving, all of us are humans, and every time we hear something like what I just said, we kinda get knocked to our knees as well, just like anybody else who hears that.
“And so we are trying to work ceaselessly, but I ask you for patience, because it takes a toll on even your government workers and it takes a toll on just the guy driving the dump truck to roll through this type of devastation and not choke up or well up and pause once in a while.
“And that’s what we’re all doing — we choke up, we well up, we pause, we swallow it, and we go back to work.”
It is the 12th death from the storm in Faulkner County.
Hogue noted that Team Rubicon, a military veterans organization that has taken up the enormous logistical job of being a lead coordinator in the volunteer cleanup and relief effort, has named their mission Operation Rising Eagle in reference to the Vilonia and Mayflower school mascots.
“… The one thing I would say to the public who hasn’t been affected by this, if there is such a thing, is that thanks to your assistance, you can watch the eagles rise.”