Governor announces state assistance for removal of storm debris

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Vegetative debris will be picked up at roadside

By The Staff

Tuesday, Feb., 10, Gov. Steve Beshear announced a plan for collecting and removing vegetative debris - tree trunks, limbs and brush - to speed Kentucky's recovery from a disastrous snow and ice storm.

"Loss of electric power and communications is not the only hardship our fellow Kentuckians have had to cope with in storm areas," Gov. Beshear said. "Now we face the long, hard work of cleaning up the damage."

The Governor's initiative includes the use of contractors who will remove vegetative debris from all public roadsides, except in cities and counties carrying out their own debris removal with public employees or separately procured contractors.

Residents living along a public road or street can place vegetative debris resulting from the recent winter storm at the side of the road or street for pickup and disposal.  To ensure pickup by the contractors, debris should be placed not later than Friday, Feb. 13.

Residents are cautioned not to place debris in drainage ditches. Obstructed drainage ditches can lead to - or worsen - local flooding.

Contractors participating in the Governor's initiative will not pick up metal, plastic or wood products such as paneling, siding, plywood or cut lumber.

The Kentucky Finance Cabinet, which handles most of the contracting for state government, is procuring the contractors on behalf of the Transportation Cabinet. The contractors will haul debris to sites approved by the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet.

The Transportation Cabinet will be paying contractor invoices in anticipation of being reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for 75 percent of the cost and by local governments for 13 percent. The eventual cost will depend on amount of storm debris, and that is still being assessed by FEMA.

The storm that lashed Kentucky two weeks ago downed innumerable trees and utility lines, knocking out electric power to more than 769,000 customers. Some 101 Kentucky counties and 86 cities declared states of emergency, and President Obama last week declared a major disaster in Kentucky.