Christmas storm cleanup just beginning for some parts of Hot Springs Village

By Lisa Burnett Originally Published May 5, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated May 3, 2013 at 12:56 p.m.
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PHOTO BY: Rusty Hubbard

Tommy Taylor uses a chain saw to cut down trees along a dirt road in Hot Springs Village that were damaged by snow and ice during the winter. While most of the damage was done this past Christmas, cleanup began April 22.

— For some parts of Hot Springs Village, cleanup from the Christmas storm of 2012 just started on April 22.

Jerry Pogue, administrative assistant to Garland County Judge Rick Davis, said he is in charge of storm cleanup for Garland County.

“Everyone reports to me [at the end of the day],” Pogue said.

He said the initial request for help with the storm cleanup went out Jan. 25 and was approved on March 4.

“[Hot Springs Village] is a part of two counties, Garland and Saline,” said David Whitlow, interim director of Public Works for Hot Springs Village.

“Saline County has hired a contractor that’s been working for about two months now,” Whitlow said. “They’ve gone and trimmed the trees that were hanging in the roadways and hope to be finished in the first part of June.”

Both Saline and Garland counties have hired T.F.R. Enterprises Inc., a contracting company from Leander, Texas.

Although Garland County’s cleanup didn’t start until almost two weeks ago, Pogue said, the efforts to collect loads of trees and debris have been successful.

“The first day, they gathered 28.96 tons,” Pogue said.

All of the trees and debris for the Garland County side of Hot Springs Village are being taken to the Garland County Landfill.

“I get a daily ticket from each load,” Pogue said.

The tickets show how much debris was gathered each day.

The crews are working from 7 a.m. to “dark,” six days a week, Pogue said.

Whitlow said it takes about 45 miles round trip to go from the cutting site to the landfill, so it takes a while to take each load to the dump site.

“It’s taking a pretty good amount of time to do the cleanup,” Whitlow said.

Each cleanup site is assigned a “monitor” who

oversees the workers while they gather debris.

Bill Walker, the monitor for the Garland County site, is a retired forester and said the cleanup started with the crews picking up piles of debris on the side of the road.

“We’ve been cutting leaning trees, and the truck carries about 17 tons to the Garland County Landfill,” Walker said. “We gathered about 146 tons [during the week of April 22-27].”

There isn’t a projected finish date for the Garland County cleanup, Pogue said.

To make the cleanup move faster, residents are asked to bring debris from their property to the side of their driveway, Pogue said.

“We can’t go on their property,” Pogue said. “Whatever [residents] have out there, we’ll get it for them.”

Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501)244-4307 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

Online Reporter Lisa Burnett can be reached at 501-378-3887 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

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