Storm debris to be mulched

The aftermath of Superstorm Sandy is clearly displayed in the huge debris field located at the Tucker County Corricks Ford Battlefield Site – now, cleanup procedures are underway.

Following the storm, the Tucker County Department of Transportation cleared debris from roadways and stored it in the battlefield. Bob Cooper, DOT county supervisor, said this was a temporary storage area, offered by the city of Parsons, and now the debris is scheduled to be cleared by a mulching company.

“We are finished with debris removal,” he said. “(Now) a mulching company will bid for the (cleanup) job.”

Cooper told the Inter-Mountain that a public bid, conducted by the DOT, will take place next week.

“It’s all going through the DOT,” he said.

Bidding will be finalized by the end of January and cleanup will begin at that time, Cooper said. There is no set timeline which would lend a completion date.

The debris, which consists of downed trees, will be mulched at the battlefield. Following this process, Cooper said, the mulching company will be in charge of removing the debris from the site.

Cooper said he expects the mulch to be sold to a local company. He speculated that selling it locally would make transportation easier.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has a role in this process.

The DOT is responsible for controlling the bid. When bidding and mulching is finished, the mulching company may be reimbursed by FEMA for costs associated with the cleanup.

This will mark the end of storm cleanup for the DOT, Cooper said. However, some areas of Tucker County still require attention.

Approximately 120 miles of Tucker County are still in need of roadside maintenance. Cooper said the remaining roads will be tended by private companies who are contracted through the DOT.

Cooper also noted that the battlefield is currently open to the public. Residents who want to gather wood for personal use may do so until the mulching company begins their project. He said residents have visited the site to gather firewood in recent weeks.