What happens to all the storm debris?

Tons of debris being hauled away in Fultondale

FULTONDALE, Ala. (WBRC) - Cleanup efforts continue more than a week after a deadly tornado ripped through the city of Fultondale.

Fultondale’s Fire Chief Justin McKenzie said the city is still dealing with a tremendous amount of debris from last week’s storm. He said trucks and volunteers from communities throughout Jefferson County, and even Shelby County have been working tirelessly to clear debris.

The main focus has been the roadways. But where does it all go?

“So, primarily for the City of Fultondale, it gets transported to the waste management landfill located off of Coalburg Road, but the county and some other cities might have contracts with other landfills. So, it just depends on where they’re transporting it to,” Chief McKenzie said.

Once the debris is transported, it has to be set aside from other garbage at the landfill, and can’t be destroyed until it’s been properly documented.

“That’s for if a declaration is approved through the federal government. Because of that, this all has to be documented not only when they pick it up, but when they drop it off…and you know…try to estimate how much weight and debris it is,” Chief McKenzie said.

He added that this process will take some time.

He said some families are just now able to get back into their homes to assess the damage now that more roads have been cleared.

And if past tornados are any indication, he said it could be years before all the debris is removed.

“Just make sure you’re safe out there and we understand that you want to go back to your homes and try to get your belongings, but some of these trees are unstable, the houses are unstable, a lot of them have been shifted off their foundation. If they need assistance go to 211, let us know what you need, and we’ll get the help out to you.”

Chief McKenzie said all debris must be pushed out to the curb of each home and asks that you don’t cover anything important like fire hydrants or water access points.

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