Originally created 05/07/02

City officials outline plan for cleanup



Augusta officials have mapped out a weeklong plan to clean up neighborhoods hit hardest by last week's violent thunderstorms.

The effort, directed by Augusta's Department of Public Works, aims to clear area roads of fallen debris while assisting homeowners by disposing of yard waste caused by the storm.

"This storm took only a couple of minutes to do the damage, but it's going to take quite a while to clean it up on the part of the city," City Administrator George Kolb said Monday. "We're trying to get around to each neighborhood that was impacted."

During the four hours after the storm, the city's 911 center fielded more than 700 calls related to fallen trees and broken power lines, officials said.

Power was restored throughout the city by Saturday, but significant cleanup needs still remain in many neighborhoods.

The city has said any yard debris placed next to the right of way along homeowners' property lines will be picked up this week by city crews. Limbs and trees should be cut into manageable pieces, officials said.

City crews cannot do any work on private property.

Today, three crews will work between the Columbia County line and 15th Street and from River Watch Parkway to Washington Road. On Wednesday, workers will concentrate on subdivisions between the Columbia County line and Wrightsboro Road and from Walton Way to Berckmans Road.

On Thursday, crews will work between Gordon Highway and Wrightsboro Road and between Barton Chapel Road and Walton Way Extension.

Cleanup crews also are being dispatched to the Goshen Plantation area, and any remaining work will take place countywide Friday.

Officials of Public Works and the Emergency Management Agency report receiving hundreds of phone calls last weekend after large trees and limbs downed power lines and blocked roads in south and west Augusta.

Those phone calls are helping to direct city crews to the areas that were hit hardest, said Public Works Director Teresa Smith.

Who to call

To report a fallen tree or debris in the right of way or for questions about cleanup activities, call the city's Augusta Cares hot line at 821-2300. To report price gouging by private contractors, call Mayor Bob Young at 821-1831.

Reach Heidi Coryell Williams at (706) 823-3215 or heidi.williams@augustachronicle.com.