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Storm cleanup could take months, officials say

More than 10,000 cubic yards of debris has been taken to the city of Yukon’s drop-off site as a result of last week’s ice storm, officials said Thursday.
City Manager Jim Crosby said residents have disposed of 2,127 cubic yards of debris since the drop-off location at Frisco Road and State Highway 66 opened.
However, much of the work is being done by Arbor Masters, which was contracted to pick up debris from neighborhoods.
He said the contractors have picked up 7,394 cubic yards of limbs and other debris since beginning Monday.
Thus far, the city has spent $58,412.60 on the project, he said.
City crews also are involved and have dropped off 878 cubic yards of material.
He said the total, through Thursday, is 10,444 cubic yards of debris.
Crosby told the city council on Tuesday that he expects the process of cleaning up from the storm to take several weeks.
Earlier, city officials had said they expect the total amount of debris from the storm to top 80,000 cubic yards of material.
“The sheer volume of trees that have been pulled to the curb is incredible. We’re about 70 to 75 percent finished with people cutting their limbs and getting them to the curb,” Crosby said Tuesday.
The city manager said contractors are picking up debris along the city’s trash route and will initially make a single pass through the community.
Currently, he said, the crews are working in the area where residents’ trash is picked up on Tuesdays.
“We will stay on that trash route until we’re finished. We will make one sweep. We’re not coming back. If people haven’t cut their limbs, we will catch them at a later date,” he said.
The goal is to get as much material as possible during the sweep.
The material is being disposed of at the old sports complex property at Frisco Road and State Highway 66.
The site is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, including on the weekends, for residents to drop off their debris.
Those using the facility will need to have a copy of their utility bill as well as their driver’s license, Crosby said.
There is no cost for using the site.
That material will eventually become mulch, Crosby said.
To do that, Crosby has suggested the city consider purchasing a large grinder. That proposal is expected to be on the next city council agenda.
Crosby, however, reiterated concerns that this will not be a short process.
“To be through in a month, I’m telling you we won’t make it. It will probably be several months,” Crosby said.
“I think it will take us a couple of months to catch up.”
Crosby also said the city has decided to postpone the annual “big trash day” so crews can focus on debris removal.
It will be rescheduled.
Meanwhile, the council handled a very short agenda. However, one item that was moved forward was a disaster declaration.
Mayor Shelli Selby signed the declaration during Tuesday’s meeting, which will allow the city to recoup most of the cost of cleaning up the debris.
Once Oklahoma is declared a federal disaster area, the city could recoup up to 88 percent of the expenses related to the cleanup.

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