LAYTON -- The last of the debris cleaned up from the Dec. 1, 2011, hurricane-force windstorm has reached the Layton landfill.
The 25-foot-high pile of tree stumps, trunks and large branches, some of the debris from the 102-mph windstorm that filled Davis County stream channels, will soon be turned to compost.
On Friday, in commemoration of the anniversary of the windstorm, officials from Davis County, Wasatch Integrated Waste Management and Natural Resources Conservation Services gathered at the landfill to mark the completion of what has been a one-year cleanup.
The windstorm that ripped through Davis County caused about $4.1 million in damage to public properties alone, uprooting trees, tipping over semitrailers, knocking out power to thousands of residents and destroying or damaging multiple public buildings and golf courses.
The Davis Park Golf Course in Kaysville lost more than 300 trees in the storm, officials said.
Because of the damage public property sustained, the Federal Emergency Management Agency stepped in, helping county agencies with some of the cleanup.
However, because of quickly organized volunteer efforts by community groups and neighborhoods, an estimated $1.7 million was saved in cleanup costs, said Ron Francis, media affairs specialist with the Natural Resources Conservation Services.
The Emergency Watershed Protection Program cleanup of the county's streams and channels was initially estimated to cost $2 million, but actual cost was $300,000 because of the initial volunteer work that was done, Francis said.
The Emergency Watershed Protection Program was set up by Congress to respond to emergencies created by natural disasters, such as floods, fires and windstorms.
"Following the windstorm, there was a great volunteer effort and communities and the public cleared a majority of the debris left from the windstorm," Francis said in a prepared statement.
Just under 12,000 self-haul loads of storm debris were brought to the landfill last December, said Nathan Rich, CEO of Wasatch Integrated Waste Management District.
The loads brought in by volunteers filled the landfill's 2-acre green waste cement staging pad, Rich said. "We were swamped with green waste."
And there was no rest. In the aftermath of the storm, the landfill opened on a Sunday for the first time in its history and received 1,860 visits in an eight-hour period, Rich said.
But even with the community effort, the NRCS has had to clean up several sites where large trees and heavy debris were present, ensuring rivers and streams were clear to protect life and property from future runoff events, Francis said.
"It is still fresh in my mind of how much you can get done working together," said Davis County Commissioner John Petroff Jr.
"As bad as it was, (the windstorm) could have been more destructive and much harder to clean up after had we had snow following it," Petroff said of the favorable weather that volunteers encountered in the initial stages of cleanup.