Debris removal continues in Cordova
by Jennifer Cohron
Jun 16, 2011 | 4117 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Crews clean up the area where a Nazarene church stood before receiving extensive damage on April 27. The church was torn down last week. Photo by: Jennifer Cohron
Crews clean up the area where a Nazarene church stood before receiving extensive damage on April 27. The church was torn down last week. Photo by: Jennifer Cohron
More than 60 percent of storm debris has been removed from Cordova, Mayor Jack Scott announced at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

Approximately 43 percent of the clean-up was complete one week ago when local, state and federal officials held a press conference to discuss the city’s long-term recovery.

Cordova Fire Chief Dean Harbison, who is also serving as the city’s disaster relief coordinator, said Tuesday night that residents should not be concerned if they have not seen many U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractors on their street lately.

“They do this in several passes. When they’re done on your street, they go somewhere else to give you time to get more debris to the roadway. Then they’ll come back and make another pass,” Harbison said.

Harbison said citizens should contact City Hall if they believe an area is being missed by the clean-up crews.

He also encouraged residents to have their brush and other debris pushed to the right of way by July 12. That deadline marks the end of a grace period in which the federal and state governments pay for the bulk of the clean-up’s cost.

“That doesn’t mean our debris can’t be removed, but it is going to start costing a lot more money,” Harbison said.

A program known as Operation Clean Sweep is being developed to allow for removal of debris from private property.

Homeowners who wish to participate must sign right of entry forms, which are available at City Hall.

“If the city can help out, we will, but we can’t do everything and the Corps of Engineers can’t go onto anyone’s property without that right of entry form,” Scott said.

In other action:

• Harbison announced that the city of Lillian has donated an aerial, or ladder, truck to Cordova.

Harbison said having the truck would help the department respond to fires at large industrial sites and might also lower its Insurance Services Office rating, which influences insurance premiums for residents.

Also, Harbison said that his department recently received some insurance money for its vehicles that were damaged in the April 27 tornadoes but is waiting on an itemized statement before having the equipment repaired.

• The council appointed Mark Bozeman, J.J. Johnson, Scott Twilley and Carol Alexander to the city’s Long-Term Recovery committee.

• The council declared a 1978 Ford truck to be surplus property so the city can begin accepting bids for it.

• The council voted to allow the Cordova Water and Gas Board to make necessary adjustments to sewer bills. Scott said the adjustments will be made to bills that are abnormally high because of breaks in service lines after the April 27 tornadoes.

• Scott reminded homeowners that they must contact City Hall before rebuilding and that contractors are required to get a permit and business license from City Hall before working in the city.

• Harbison reminded residents that the deadline to register with FEMA is June 27 and encouraged everyone with damage to apply.

• Police chief Kenneth Bobo said traffic is flowing well downtown and no major incidents have occurred since the area was opened up several weeks ago. Barricades still block access to Main Street.