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OKC completes May tornado debris cleanup


OKLAHOMA CITY — A milestone in the tornado recovery effort has been reached by Oklahoma City’s Public Works Department. Their debris collection from the May 20th and May 31st storms is finally complete.

Contractors rounded up 120,000 tons of debris in just eight weeks, which went to the Southeast OKC Landfill. That’s what the city normally collects in three years.

To put that in perspective, they picked up enough storm debris that would fill a football stadium and be nearly as tall as the Devon Energy tower.

With FEMA and state reimbursement, the city will end up paying about 12% of the six million dollar price tag.

“We had whole homes that were destroyed and pushed to the curb and we collected those,” OKC Public Work’s Dept. Program Manager Jim Lewellyn said Thursday.  “We appreciate everyone’s patience in the time it took, but we’ve been trying to get it done as quickly as possible.”

Lewellyn said that landfill still has years of capacity remaining.

In Moore, the final deadline to get debris to the curb is August 15th if residents want the city to haul it off at no cost.

Moore hopes to be finished with tornado debris collection by the end of August.