40 Days Later, Still Dealing With Limbs
It's been 40 days since the ice storm and the cleanup continued on Monday, unaffected by the holiday. Communities are dealing with the storm debris in different ways. The News On 6's Emory Bryan reports the City of Tulsa has piled up a mountain of limbs that continues to grow. Meanwhile, elsewhere, a mountain of mulch is taking shape.
Broken Arrow's debris pile is almost no pile at all. The city hauls storm debris to a field by Northeastern State University and burns it. The fire is consuming the wood almost as fast as it comes in. And, it's coming in fast, even on a rainy holiday. Michael McDermott delivered his eighth load on Monday.
"They'll all been about this size, so it hasn't been fun," said Broken Arrow's Michael McDermott.
He's adding his pile to one of Broken Arrow's five drop off points. The city hauls it from here to the burn pile.
Tulsa plans to mulch all of its debris. And, that's a big job. At one drop off point for the contractors hauling debris, massive trucks come in and unload, and the limbs are stacked high. The pile continues to grow, and alongside it, a new pile, of mulch, is building. The city hired a company with seven machines called tub grinders that can reduce logs into mulch. Eventually, it will be hauled out of the park for composting.
There won't be anything left to mulch in Sand Springs. At the old Hissom site, the limbs cleared from the city are piled and burned.
While mulching the wood gets another use out of it, burning is sure a faster way to get rid of it. In Sand Springs, a huge field was stacked deep with storm debris, but it was reduced to ash in a single day. Even in the rain, with green wood, the fire continues to burn.
A city fire truck is on standby in case it spreads, but there's plenty of room for it to burn without endangering anything around it. The City of Sand Springs got a permit from the state to burn the wood, a requirement anytime air quality might be impacted. That's one reason Tulsa is mulching rather than burning.
Broken Arrow is issuing burn permits for people, who want to burn the debris at home, but most people are hauling it and dropping it off, but the traffic is slowing as people finish up most of what they can do themselves.