BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Jefferson County EMA is still assessing all the damage from the Monday, January 25th tornado, but Fultondale city leaders said the assessment should be done by February 1st. It will give insight as to how many homes and businesses were damaged.
The City of Fultondale will begin sending trucks to collect curbside debris on Monday, February 1st, but only separated piles will be picked up.
“The amount of the debris is going to be tremendous,” Fultondale City Councilman and acting logistic chief for tornado recovery cleanup Billy Hughes said. “This was a major disaster for us. We don’t want computers or televisions being thrown in with vegetation, tree limbs, and all that kind of stuff.”
Hughes said the city doesn’t know yet if the damage will meet FEMA requirements, but the guidelines say the debris needs to be separated into six different categories: Electronics, large appliances, hazardous waste, vegetative debris, construction debris, and household garbage. Hughes said only household garbage needs to be in trash bags.
“FEMA is not on the ground in Fultondale or Center Point yet,” Hughes said. “In case they do get involved and we haven’t done this right, it will negate some of that value of the debris and we want to make sure that we do this right so it is calculated correctly.”
Hughes said examples of electronics are televisions, computers, phones, and sound systems. He said appliances are ovens, microwaves, washer and dryers, refrigerators. He also said doors need to be removed from all appliances for safety. Hughes said the hazardous waste piles should contain batteries, household cleaning products, and pesticides. Vegetative debris piles should only have branches, leaves, and trees. Hughes said construction debris piles should have insulation, building materials, carpet, and furniture.
Hughes said more than ten debris trucks will circulate streets, picking up whatever piles they were assigned. He said the piles will not all be picked up at once. Hughes said you don’t need to call to have your debris picked up and you won’t be charged for any removal, but it does matter where you put your piles.
“We cant go into someone’s yard and reach over and pick up the debris,” Hughes said. “It has to be at the edge of the road for us to pick it up.”
Hughes said the separated piles need to be placed within the right-of-way and away from trees, poles, water meters, or fire hydrants. He said make sure nothing is preventing the pile from being collected.
“Make sure they aren’t parking near one of the brush piles or one of the debris piles,” Hughes said.
He said it is okay if you can’t separate your piles right away, the trucks will be circulating for two to three weeks. Hughes also said volunteers can help separate piles.
“We have volunteers lined up to come help, asking for things to do,” he said. “We will continue to send volunteers out to assist with that separation.”
Hughes said the city is also asking residents not to demolish or burn any structures until the storm assessment from the EMA is complete.
Hughes said the city will send more guidance on how to dispose of damaged vehicles at a later date.