SF Starts Grinding Debris From Ice Storm
by Jeff Rusack, Reporter
May 16, 2013 8:11 PM
It's a pretty simple process, pile a crane full of sticks, logs, and branches into a giant wood chipper and watch the stream of mulch gather. Debris has been piling up at the fairgrounds in Sioux Falls for over a month. And with events scheduled there this summer, the branches need to be moved quick.
“The deadline is pretty tight for him and for us because we need to get this site restored for the fair,” said Trent Lubbers of Sioux Falls Public Works.
But, the city says they've hired the right guys. The three man team from outside of Austin, Texas says this pile is relatively small.
“We do this all over the country. We run around and chip up storm debris,” said Robert Day.
With a number of hurricane cleanups under their belts, including Andrew and Katrina, they say they'll be in and out of Sioux Falls.
“Well, our contractor says he'll be done on this site by two weeks,” said Lubbers.
The main reason the pile looks puny to them, South Dakota's lack of trees.
“You get over on the East Coast and down into Oklahoma areas, there's a lot more trees, a lot more densely populated areas,” said Day.
To make sure their grinding isn't interrupted city officials are asking the public to stay out of the fairgrounds parking lot and drop their branches at designated drop offs.
“This site is a construction site, so to speak. There is a lot of activity here. We don't want anyone to come to these sites while we have grinding operations going on. It's dangerous,” said Lubbers.
The last phase for Operation Timber Strike, and the hope is two months after the storm, Sioux Falls will be completely clear of the remnants of the April ice storm.