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Work to remove 100 cubic yards of debris in Lake begins Monday

Published 12:32pm Saturday, January 21, 2012

Work to rid Lake Martin of tornado debris that became exposed after the winter drawdown will begin next week, the Alabama Emergency Management Agency announced Friday.

Various agencies will be working together to remove the estimated 100 cubic yards of debris from the affected Sandy Creek area of Lake Martin, beginning with the state’s Department of Corrections.

“It is the plan to start the cleanup next week,” said Yasamie August, AEMA public relations officer. “With the rain that is expected this weekend, we may not start Monday as planned, but as of now it is the plan to mobilize and start then.”

Terry Boyd, chief of the engineering section at the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and project lead for the cleanup, said during a Jan. 6 press conference that they are coordinating with the Department of Corrections to have inmate crews pick up all the debris that can be picked up by hand first.

“Then we’re going to deal with the county to get some local equipment and get the rest of the remaining, bigger items out of the lake and put it in dumpsters to haul it to a local landfill,” Boyd said.

As previously reported in The Outlook, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed its mission to rid Lake Martin of the debris left by the April 27, 2011 tornado last July 25.

The mission started the week of June 13, 2011 and lake crews used a rig that consisted of a small barge and an extended reach trackhoe to clean the lake. Upon completion, they reported that they had recovered a total of 15,157 cubic yards of debris.

Debris in the Mountain View Way neighborhood in the Sandy Creek area of the lake became visible in late 2011, after the lake was lowered to reach its winter pool.

Other agencies that worked with the AEMA, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Department of Corrections and Tallapoosa County to implement a plan to clean the remaining debris include the Department of Transportation, the Forestry Commission and Alabama Power.

August said the cleanup should not take more than two weeks from start to finish barring any implement weather. At the latest, all removal will be completed before lake levels are restored March 1.

“We know that this is a priority for the community, and we want people to know we are moving forward with the project as soon as possible,” August said.

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