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City of Meridian talks debris cleanup

Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 12:01 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - It has been two weeks since powerful thunderstorms ripped through Meridian. Many people have already cleared their property of big trees and are now waiting for it to be picked up. Public Works Director Hugh Smith said the city is closer to making that happen.

“We are finding out that a lot of residents are continually bringing items from the winter storm to the curb, so we have a double-whammy going on right now,” Smith said.

Just about every street you ride down, you can see debris littering the roadsides. Many people have piled the debris on the actual pavement, but that’s not what Smith says you should do.

“We prefer that the debris be placed behind the curb line. That keeps the right of way and the edge of the road completely open,” Smith explained. “Keep in mind that when you place those items there, they might shift.”
Big tree trunks and branches are a lot to deal with, but just like with the February ice storm, the city of Meridian is taking extra steps to clean up the roads.
“We actually had a meeting with an outside entity that is a much larger that deals specifically with storm debris cleanup,” Smith said. “We are looking at getting help from them. The timeline we are looking at right now, if there is a contractual agreement, is about three weeks from start to finish.”
Smith estimated about 8,500 cubic yards of debris; that’s about the same amount of debris from February. Smith said the cleanup process should take about three weeks once it begins.
If you are preparing limbs and trees for pickup, then make sure it meets the requirements.
“If it’s something you can handle, you can bring to the curb and it’s four foot in length, then we will take it away,” Smith said.
Typically, they request a certain diameter of the limbs, but Smith said these are extenuating circumstances and to adhere to the requirements as much as possible.
If you have hired a private contractor to work on your home or cut a fallen tree, then that contractor is responsible for removing debris from your property and not just taking it to the roadside.
“If you have a professional contractor who is doing the work for you, the agreement should and must include that contractor removing those items away from your property and not placing them on the right of way,” Smith said.

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