The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

August 13, 2013

City of Albemarle finishes cleanup of storm debris

By Tiffany Thompson, Staff Writer

Sunday, August 11, 2013 — After just three weeks, the streets of Albemarle are now clear of debris from the microburst storm that struck June 13.

Crews with Ceres Environmental Services began picking up the debris July 11.

Each of the work group were given maps that divided the city into 10 zones. They then began working to clean up the debris in the hardest hit areas.

“As the first pass was being completed in the outer, less affected areas, crews were already returning to the beginning zones to start a second round of cleanup.” Interim Public Works Director Nina Underwood said in a memo to Albemarle City Council.

Crews with Ceres and Albemarle Public Works rode through Albemarle to make sure all areas were included in the cleanup, and the project was declared completed by Aug. 2.

The city’s Street Division crews have been manually clearing blocked storm drains and utilizing vacuum trucks for cleanup of twigs and leaves in the curbing areas.

“The contractor did a great job. We’ve heard a lot of good reports from the citizens,” Underwood said.

More than 46,000 cubic yards of vegetative debris was collected and taken to the former Wisscassett Mills property. Grinding of the debris began Aug. 3 and is expected to be completed by Aug. 9.

The estimated cost for the debris cleanup is $1 million. Combined with the $1.5 million that was spent on the electrical disruption, the total cost of the storm is expected to be approximately $2.5 million.

“That’s an astronomical amount of money for a storm that lasted only a few minutes,” City Manager Ray Allen said, adding that he is optimistic the city can recoup nearly 75 percent of the debris removal costs when the city receives a state emergency declaration.

“It is not official yet, but I am told the state is working on it.