TRUMANN, Ark. — People living near a tornado debris collection field in Trumann, Arkansas are happy efforts are finally underway to remove the mountain of trash that started piling up after last December’s twister.
There are plenty of questions about why it’s taking so long to address cleaning up the smelly, health hazard.
Hattie Wilson lives close enough to smell the debris field. Crews are now finally starting to sort through the trash and haul it off.
“Pile of mess…junk…whatever. I seen a couple of mouses or rats as I was coming by, Wilson said. “It took a long time for it to even start and matter of fact I didn’t even know they was even down there working on it, it was so bad.”
This mess started piling up soon after the December 10 tornado getting bigger and bigger by the day, with garbage often being blown down Oak Street. Pamela Webb lives near the debris field as well.
“We were hoping for it to be cleaned up pretty quick, but it’s been crazy. It’s gotten to where it’s almost overtaken that end of the road down there,” Webb said.
Trumann’s mayor had requested debris be removed from private property by March 31, but then announced the site would close March 1 because it had become unmanageable.
While the city did work with people on a case-by-case basis to help them remove debris, it became financially impossible to clean up the debris field.
So, Trumann’s mayor contacted the state stepped in to help with the tedious task.
“We don’t know exactly what all is in that pile. There could be some harmful materials, there’s twisted metal…all sorts of things that could create a hazard and that’s why we are stepping in to help them remove it,” LaTresha Woodruff said in a phone interview.
“Maybe the smell will go away and our yards will quit being dirty,” Pamela Webb said. “So, we’re excited.”>
Several state departments from Arkansas are involved in the cleanup which just started Tuesday, May 3.
We’re told trucks hauling debris have to drive to counties with landfills that will accept the trash, and the travel time is slowing down the process.
So, there is no precise date on when the cleanup will be done.