Burning Up Storm Debris

Wednesday, February 27th 2008, 7:48 pm
By: News On 6

Remnants of December's ice storm still litter many curbsides in Green Country.  From Sand Springs to Claremore, plans are underway to clear the mess.  But, News On 6 anchor Latoya Silmon reports some of the game plans have neighbors turning up their noses.

We've been dealing with the mess for months, and some cities say the end is finally in sight, but there have been complaints about how some cities plan to get there.

Claremore is fired up, burning its debris 24 hours a day.  So far, it's rounded up 1,500 tons of the stuff.   All of it lands at a drop off site in the middle of town.

"That was pretty much the only piece of property that we had available that would work," said Matt Mueller with the City of Claremore.

But, that's not working for some who live here.  The city admits it has received some complaints about the smoke.

"That was the FEMA approved, the DEQ approved burn site and so at that point since it was an approved site in order to get on with our program that's where we had to take it," said Matt Mueller with the City of Claremore.

Broken Arrow opted to burn debris too.  Its site is north of NSU-BA.

"They've been doing that for the past few weeks and we had to watch it with the weather, too. There's been windy conditions. There was a burn ban in effect at one point, so we're trying to work with the weather conditions," said Keith Sterling with the City of Broken Arrow.

The city's spokesman, Keith Sterling, says using a remote location helped squelch complaints.

But, even not burning the debris can cause a stink.

Take Tulsa for example, where some residents have complained about debris that was turned into mulch.  Claremore says it has other reasons why the process wouldn't work for them.

"We would still have the issue of where would we dispose of the mulch," said Claremore's Matt Mueller.

The city of Claremore says it hopes to burn all of its debris by March 31st.

Broken Arrow's deadline is sometime in April.