Storm Cleanup Goes On With Burn Ban In Place

Wednesday, January 30th 2008, 10:43 pm
By: News On 6

The burn ban issued by the governor changes how folks will clean up ice storm debris.  But, The News On 6's Chris Wright reports others say it will not make a difference.  The burn ban could cause delays in Broken Arrow, which is burning all of its debris.  But Tulsa, which is turning limbs into mulch, says its cleanup is ahead of schedule.

A never-ending line a trucks continues to haul in debris to Johnson Park.  And, the mountain of limbs will only get bigger.  The City of Tulsa says it has picked up 1.2 million cubic yards of debris, but that's only one third of the limbs downed during the ice storm.  Still, officials say they are ahead of schedule.

"They're actually doing better than what we heard we might expect.  We're told to expect 50-55 range.  As long as the weather holds good for us, which it has so far, we've lost a day and a half to weather, but so far, it's gone real well," said Dan Crossland with the City of Tulsa.

Tulsa will continue to turn everything it picks up into mulch.  Crossland says the city is close to cutting a deal to get rid of it, too.  He says it will all eventually be used as part of a land reclamation project somewhere in Oklahoma.

"It's not something that's going to be burned; it's not going to a landfill.  It will be beneficial on one way or another," said Dan Crossland with the City of Tulsa.

On the other hand, Broken Arrow is burning all of its debris.  But, with a burn ban now in effect, that practice has to be put on hold.  So city officials in Broken Arrow, just like those in other cities, are urging people to be patient.

"There's still a lot of work to be done.  It's going to take time, but we're confident we'll get through it. It's just a question of exactly how long," said Keith Sterling with the City of Broken Arrow.

Broken Arrow started handing out burn permits a few weeks ago.     Residents, as long as they followed a set of rules, were allowed to burn their limbs.  Obviously, while the burn ban is in effect, those permits are not valid.