Debris removal operations in Mississippi continue to make significant progress in clearing public roadways and private property.
Hurricane Katrina left more than 40 million cubic yards of debris in its wake and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, state agencies, local governments and their contractors have worked with the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to clear almost 27 million cubic yards of debris.
Debris removal operations throughout the state are more than 60 percent complete. Eighteen counties and 45 cities have completed their debris removal operations. As the Corps nears the end of its mission of clearing debris on rights of way, additional crews are being allocated to remove debris on private property. The Corps has already surpassed the halfway point for its FEMA-assigned mission to remove debris in several counties and cities receiving direct federal assistance.
Private property debris removal continues in several areas of Mississippi with 16 counties and 36 cities already having requested and been approved for private property debris removal. To date 47,085 rights-of-entry (ROEs) have been received for private property debris removal. Of the 34,222 ROEs that have been inspected, 9,243 have had all debris hazards removed from them.
The process of removing debris does not end with simply clearing it from public and private roads and lands.
Debris is then taken to a staging and reduction site where debris is sorted and reduced. Reduction can be done by mulching, chipping or burning vegetative debris and baling recyclable metals. Hazardous materials are separated and disposed of properly. Debris which can be recycled is recycled. Anything that can be re-used is re-used, such as mulch which can often be sold to companies for fuel or other purposes. Debris that cannot be reduced or recycled is sent to appropriate landfills.
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