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County collects 200,000 cubic tons debris

It is official, the largest clean up in the county’s history is now over.

That is the word from County Engineer Dennis McCall who said the removal of debris left by Hurricane Ivan is complete.

&uot;We are now 100 percent complete with our clean-up operations,&uot; he said Thursday.

&uot;The Corps of Engineers were assisting us with the clean-up.

They finished their part last week and we’ve had our final inspection on those.&uot;

He said he and the county commission encourages anyone to call him or their office to report debris they might have missed.

&uot;Just call us with the location,&uot; he said.

McCall said the Corps estimates that the cleanup cost just over $1 million to the federal government.

&uot;The work the county performed was pretty in-kind work alongside the Corps,&uot; he said.

&uot;We estimate our share of the in-kind work for labor and materials totaled about $700,000.&uot;

McCall said in the days after Ivan he had estimated that the cleanup would cost approximately $1 million for county roads only.

&uot;It now appears it will be closer to $1.7 million,&uot; he said.

The clean-up efforts by the county were by far the largest in the county’s history.

It took a total of five months to complete the project.

&uot;For the first week after the storm, we ran our entire department seven days in a row,&uot; he said.

&uot;We have been running crews since for seven days a week for four to five months.&uot;

He said he is very surprised but happy that no one was injured in the clean up.

&uot;Probably the thing that I’m proudest of in this whole ordeal was that we had no accidents in some very hazardous situations nor did we have any traffic accidents,&uot; he said. &uot;We didn’t have any reported from the Corps’ operations.&uot;

He also said the public was to be commended for their patience.

&uot;I know everyone with the engineering department and everyone with the county commission would like to express our thanks with everyone who has been so patient while we tried to get everything back to normal,&uot; he said.

&uot;We had encouraged them to have patience and they did just that.

They were also always very helpful in letting this office and the commission office know where there were still debris problems.&uot;

Another thing McCall is happy about is the fact that no bridge damage was reported.

&uot;We did have some road damage totaling approximately $80,000, but that was primarily cross drain pipes,&uot; he said.

He said another surprise in the damage was the amount of damage done to road signs.

&uot;We have over $60,000 in damage to signs alone,&uot; he said.

&uot;That was a real surprising number.

You think that would be minor part of your clean up operations, but when we completed our sign inventory, we found we $60,000 worth of missing or damaged signs.&uot;

McCall did say again that the cost of the clean up by the corps is completely covered by the federal disaster declaration and the $700,000 in in-kind services will also be reimbursed up to 85 percent.

&uot;Although this was a huge inconvenience, we were very fortunate that this is not going to be a huge expense to the county,&uot; he said.

&uot;We were lucky when you consider Ivan did $220 million in damage in 14 Alabama counties.&uot;