Deadline nearing for debris-removal efforts

Owners of property outside Hurricane Katrina’s storm surge have until Aug. 15 to move their eligible storm-related debris to the public right-of-way, where city debris teams will be making a final pass Aug. 16-28, when FEMA’s 12-month debris program is scheduled to expire.

Eligible debris is defined as storm-related vegetative and man-made debris in the immediate vicinity of structures that were occupied before the storm. However, any ineligible debris placed in the right-of-way — such as material from land clearing or lot clearing not in the immediate vicinity of the structure — will not be hauled by city crews. Property owners will be responsible for its removal.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency has requested that FEMA extend the deadline by six months in areas inundated by the Katrina storm surge.

“Our debris removal teams in Biloxi have hauled more than 2.7 million cubic yards of debris from streets and neighborhoods throughout this city,” Mayor A.J. Holloway said. “That’s enough debris to cover a football field and stand more than 127 stories high. And the price tag is now over $50 million in Biloxi alone. We’re proud that we’ve done it by the book so that Biloxi taxpayers won’t be left facing this staggering bill.

“Now, we’re nearing the end of the process in some areas of the city, and we’re hoping our residents in the areas that did not flood will help us by moving storm debris to the curb in the next couple of weeks.”

To see statistics about the city’s debris removal initiative and other issues of the city’s ongoing storm recovery, click here.