Progress in the rest of Trigg County, which opted into the state’s debris removal program, is slower, as Trigg County Judge Executive Stan Humphries said that crews have moved out of the Rockcastle area and into the Wallonia area, and will move in a clockwise motion around the county.
Humphries said the Rockcastle area was one of the areas in the county hit hardest by the ice storm, and other areas won’t require as much work to clear.
Of the $52,000 that the Trigg County Fiscal Court allotted for debris removal, roughly $25,000 has been spent so far, said Humphries, who added that while he was hopeful that half of the volume of debris has been cleared, in terms of area, crews still have a long way to go.
Overall, about a third of the debris has been cleaned up in the 12 westernmost counties that make up the First Highway Department District of Kentucky, which includes Trigg County, said a press release by Keith Todd, a public information officer for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
With crews just over four weeks into the storm debris collection process, KYTC Chief District Engineer Jim LeFevre says crews need some additional assistance from the public.
“We’ve had a number of locations where property owners have stacked debris along state highway right of way that crews have been unable to reach with their equipment,” LeFevre said. “If crews have been through your neighborhood and your pile was left behind, we’re asking that you move it closer to the edge of the roadway to allow crews to reach it safety.”
Due to different types of equipment being used by various contractors and right of way obstacles like ditches, embankments, and utility lines, some piles could not be picked up. LeFevre emphasized that homeowners should be aware of safety issues when placing piles near roadways. Debris stacked near intersections or driveways can obstruct the view of oncoming traffic.
“This is a balancing act. We need the debris to be close enough to the roadway to be reached by the contractors without the piles becoming a hazard or hindrance to traffic,” LeFevre said.
Augmenting the state’s debris removal program, at least for a week, is the state’s annual Commonwealth Cleanup Week, held from Wednesday, March 25, to Tuesday, March 31, according to Dianna Gee, FEMA public information officer.
The yearly effort, which was created in 1998 and relies on volunteers, emphasizes reducing and recycling roadside litter, but this year the one of the main focuses will be ice storm debris, said Gee.