Guard's work almost done in Davis wind cleanup

Dec 7 2011 - 10:05pm

City, county and state crews continued cleanup efforts Wednesday in the aftermath of the major windstorm that ripped through Davis and Weber counties a week ago.

Following a 5 p.m. conference call with local and county leaders, Gov. Gary Herbert ordered the National Guard to begin to stand down operations at noon today.

Personnel and equipment from the Utah Department of Transportation will remain to assist at least through 5 p.m. today.

Davis County Sheriff's Sgt. Susan Poulsen said emergency crews from the National Guard on Wednesday included 52 pieces of heavy equipment and 25 support vehicles, plus "150 boots on the ground."

"The Utah National Guard has tracked since this began. They have moved 502 dump truck loads as of Wednesday morning," she said.

It will take several more weeks to finish the cleanup of the cities where state resources were deployed.

County crews plan to spend the next few months clearing debris out of storm channels and creeks, said Kirk Schmalz, director of the county's public works.

"We have crews out there trying to assess where the critical areas are," he said.

County crews spent the weekend and the first part of the week helping cities, especially Centerville, haul green waste to Wasatch Integrated Waste Management.

"Our creeks received significant damage, and in some areas, there is excessive debris, which could cause flooding," Schmalz said.

Nathan Rich, executive director of Wasatch Integrated Waste Management, said pickups, trailers and dump trucks filled with clean green waste have been coming to the landfill nonstop since the windstorm.

All green waste is being accepted free of charge at the landfill until Dec. 17.

On Saturday, the landfill received 1,323 tons of green waste, brought in on pickup trucks and trailers.

On Tuesday, another 1,676 tons of green waste was brought to the landfill. Rich said most of that was hauled in by large dump trucks.

He estimates the landfill could take in almost 15,000 tons of green waste by the end of Saturday.

Centerville's cleanup will take at least two more weeks.

"They still have quite a bit of work to do," Poulsen said.

Centerville Police Lt. Paul Child said the volunteer effort on Sunday cleaned up much of the city, but a lot of work remains.

Farmington City Manager Dave Millheim said he expects it will take three to four more weeks to finish repairing the damage from the windstorm.

Kaysville Mayor Steve Hiatt said his city has "a massive 10-acre site we are cleaning."

Kaysville has recruited big trucks from other cities, such as Syracuse and Clearfield, and has had help from the National Guard and other state agencies in hauling off the debris, Hiatt said.

The city has also hired private companies and contractors to help with the cleanup.

Hiatt expects the cleanup to last a few more weeks but said the effort would have taken much longer had it not been for the massive volunteer turnout Sunday.

"Never in my life have I seen something so impressive and so inspiring."

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