All hands on deck to clean up Athens storm debris - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

All hands on deck to clean up Athens storm debris

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Athens Public Works employee, Dennis, unloads a truck full of debris Tuesday before hitting the road for another round.

Crews are right in the middle of two-week blitz using all hands on deck. That's the best way to pick up after more than three inches of rain fell in less than 30 minutes back in early June. The storm left a lot of damage in its wake.

"Our town can handle many more inches than that if it's spread over 24 hour period, but it just came down all at once," Public Works Director Shawn Lindsey says.

The storm left downed trees and limbs everywhere; clean up just wasn't happening fast enough.

"We have to just stop everything we're doing, pretty much, and just concentrate with everyone on storm debris this whole week," explains Lindsey.

Crews are making their rounds throughout every road in the city, picking up piles of debris. For residents like Tracy Womac it's a welcome site.

"Our City of Athens Public Works Department is fantastic, and they keep the brush cleaned up and all; we really appreciate it," she says.

It may be months before officials know the cost of the storm clean up and employee overtime and the problems may persist for awhile.

"After we're done cleaning up the limbs we still may have sink holes because of this storm event," explains Lindsey.

At least for now the roadways and waterways will be clear of debris and ready for the next big storm.

"It definitely is the biggest one we've had since I've been here, which is a little over 8 and a half years," Lindsey says.

Public works employees will continue to pick up storm debris through the end of this week. They'll go back to their regular routes and schedule starting next week.

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