By Josh Troy
Trees and limbs from last week’s ice storm can still be seen throughout the City of Clarksdale, but everything is on track to be cleaned up by sometime next week, according to Assistant Director of Public Works Craig Amerson. After the debris from the ice storm was cleaned up, Amerson said the focus shifted to removing trees and limbs from the streets.“The ice was so heavy on the tree limbs, and it caused them to break and fall,” he said. “Last week, we were in the process of clearing the streets, and this week, we just cleaned up everything in the streets.”
Amerson estimated the Public Works Department had completed one-third of the removing trees and limbs. “We have the stuff that fell on the right of the way, and then the homeowners are also piling limbs off their property on the right of way, which is what they’re supposed to do,” he said. “It just adds to it. “It’s going to take a little time. It’s probably going to be next week sometime before we get it cleaned and cleared, but we are in the process of clearing it all.”
Amerson said the Public Works Department used three knuckleboom trucks to pick up debris and used a front loader and a dump truck for the trees and limbs. The front loader loads limbs on the dump truck, and the dump truck takes everything to the landfill on Palmer Road. Although the ice storm has passed, Amerson said the Public Works Department is still contending with weather issues, there was wind advisory on Wednesday.
“Any limbs that did not fall out of the tree with the ice, there’s a possibility it could fall with our wind advisory,” he said. “We just have to have decent weather to be able to operate,” Amerson said; Clarksdale has dealt with weather issues much worse than the ice storm in the past. “Mainly what we had was just down winds,” Amerson said about the ice storm. “It’s not as bad as other ice events we’ve had.”
Amerson acknowledged the ice storm led to power outages, but those were issues for Clarksdale Public Utilities to handle in the city. However, the Public Works Department’s primary responsibility after the storm was removing debris, trees, and limbs from the streets. “It was bad because it was tearing electrical lines down and causing power outages, but as far as the street department, it wasn’t terrible,” he said. “It was bad, but not terrible.”