Cleanup continues in Fultondale four months later

Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 6:49 PM CDT
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FULTONDALE, Ala. (WBRC) - It’s been four months since a deadly tornado ripped through parts of northern Jefferson County.

Local leaders said it could take months, maybe even years to get back to normal and the clock is ticking to get debris removed.

Tons of debris was left behind following the January 25th tornado.

There has been a vast improvement over the last couple of months, but there is still a lot of work left to be done in the New Castle area of Fultondale.

And if you’re looking to get debris removed by the contractor, you only have a few days left to get it done.

Fultondale Fire Chief, Justin McKenzie, said the city council and mayor sought bids for storm debris removal, negotiating with several companies.

They got to work this week.

“Right now, all the debris that’s on the road is what they’re picking up, but any residents that have issues getting the debris to the road, then we ask you to reach out to City Hall or any church groups or any volunteer organizations to try to get that debris pushed to the road,” Chief McKenzie said.

Mayor Larry Holcomb said they’ve already removed 65 truckloads of debris and the progress is evident.

But the company is only in town for a limited time.

“Estimated approximately two weeks for clean-up. It could possibly take longer. So, after this time period when the company finishes, anything that’s remaining will be up for the city to pick up,” Chief McKenzie explained.

He said Fultondale’s equipment isn’t designed to handle large storm debris and could put a strain on the city.

That’s why he’s encouraging those impacted to make every effort to get debris to the curb now.

“With the remaining buildings that are damaged, if the residents have left the area, or anything like that, then at that point we’ll have to come in with inspections and either start condemning properties for cleanup and follow up with the insurance companies or the land owners,” Chief McKenzie said.

Chief McKenzie said storm debris removal may be covered under some insurance policies, but he recommends calling your insurance company to find out if that’s included in your policy.

He says once the contracted debris removal company leaves, it will be up to the landowner to get debris removed.

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