Archived Story

Cleanup plans taking shape

Published 7:00pm Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Plans to remove debris from Lake Martin began to take shape on Tuesday afternoon.

The cleanup effort will be a “coordinated effort” between Lake Martin Resource Association (LMRA), Alabama Power Company and the Emergency Management Agencies of Tallapoosa and Coosa counties, according to Keisa Sharpe, an Alabama Power spokeswoman.

“Basically, we’re directing all volunteers to contact the Lake Martin Resource Association,” she said. “We’re supporting their volunteer efforts to remove the debris with our Renew Our Rivers boats, equipment and personnel.”
LMRA President Charles Borden said the cleanup is going to be a long-term effort that will need the support of the public to be effective.

Borden said he has been in touch with Alabama Power officials, but has not received help from the local EMAs for the cleanup.

Borden said volunteers will be responsible for picking up small items littering the lake, while Alabama Power is contracting the removal of the larger items.

Dumpsters will be placed near the most damaged areas of the lake, Borden said, hopefully by the end of the week.

Borden said LMRA will pay the upfront costs of the dumpster. The organization hopes to be reimbursed through emergency funds. If not, Borden said Alabama Power has said it will reimburse LMRA for the dumpsters.

Until the dumpsters are placed around the lake, Borden encouraged people to bring their own garbage bags and begin cleaning up around the shoreline where the debris has gathered, if they can do so safely

“A lot of the debris that was floating out in the lake on Saturday is now against the shoreline,” he said.

As of Thursday, Borden was not sure if a command post or central location will be set up to coordinate the volunteer effort. A cleanup day may be announced in the future, but Borden said the cleanup will take much longer than just one day.
“This is not going to be a one-day event,” he said. “The debris is so spread out.”