Debris -- it's a word most people are tired of dealing with, reading about and hearing about. Most would gladly assign this word to the back of their memory for the next 100 years or more.
The effects of the January ice storm will be felt and seen for a long time in the area as residents continue to find more fallen branches in yards after each wind storm blows through.
One aspect of debris removal is coming to an end shortly in Thayer, and Mayor Merle Williams wants Thayer residents to be prepared.
Williams said the majority of the work involving the removal of debris from the curbside of area residents was completed on April 10 but that road crews would be making one last pass through the city on April 20 to pick up any remaining debris.
"City residents need to understand that this will be the last pickup for the workers," Mayor Williams said. "Residents need to have all their debris curbside by April 20."
Officials say that debris cannot be picked up on private property; it must be moved to the curbside.
FEMA Public Information Officer Mike Wade warns that debris removal can be dangerous and residents should use caution when cleaning up.
"Debris removal efforts should be proceeded with caution. Trees may have broken limbs lodged in the branches which could fall at anytime," Wade said.
When preparing for the last pickup scheduled for Thayer, residents are reminded that debris piles cannot block right-of-ways, obstruct fire hydrants or utility meters and that blocking drains and ditches can cause flooding.
Property owners should keep children away from debris piles. The piles may contain broken glass, nails, jagged wood or sharp edges. Debris piles may also contain rodents and insects.
Vehicles should be moved away from debris piles to make it easier for equipment operators picking up material, and to reduce the possibility of damaging vehicles.
Officials say to be suspicious of any contractor who says, or presents literature indicating they have been endorsed by FEMA or any other governmental agency. FEMA does not endorse individuals or contractors for debris removal.
If limbs or debris are too large, property owners may need to hire a debris removal contractor. Residents need to check with their insurance company on whether debris removal is covered.
Mayor Williams said he is satisfied with the way the debris removal has gone.
"Things have gone in a timely fashion and I feel like they have done a good job," he said.
Show Me Debris Removal from Willow Springs was awarded the contract for the removal. Their bid for the project was $57,741. FEMA estimated there were 13,000 cubic yards of debris to be removed. The estimate was made to help those bidding on the project use as a base for figuring their estimate.
"I don't have exact numbers, but they have already picked up considerably more than 33,000 cubic yards of debris," Mayor Williams said.
FEMA should reimburse the city 75 percent of the cost of the removal with the state possibly picking up an additional 15 percent.
The debris has been taken to an area near the Recycling Center and burned.
Mayor Williams said that limbs hanging from trees in the right-of-ways around Thayer had been cut by April 11.
Those with questions about the final pickup on April 20 can call Thayer Street Department at 264-7316.