Gustav debris collection essentially complete

The city has essentially completed collection of debris left in the wake of Hurricane Gustav.

Eunice's debris disposal and burn site on old Hwy. 13 South is closed, one month and one day after the storm battered the city.

Code Enforcement Officer Gary Bult, who helped monitor debris loads as they entered the site, said almost all of the storm debris is taken care of. He said there is some remaining in alleys but that that is a relatively small amount.

Bult did not have a figure on how much debris was collected. Others have estimated the total at around 11,000 cubic yards.

Debris at curbside, for the most part, now is the routine accumulation of materials, he said.

Mayor Bob Morris launched debris collection as soon after the hurricane as he deemed it safe for crews to operate. He opted to not join a parish-offered consortium for debris collection and disposal, saying at the time he thought Eunice could do it quicker and cheaper than the parish group.

A critical issue in debris recovery is FEMA reimbursement of the expense.

Morris transferred an employee from the Recreation Department to temporary assignment keeping track of the necessary paperwork for FEMA.

He early on expressed confidence the city would meet all FEMA requirements for reimbursement, while some of his critics questioned the wisdom of the city going it alone.

It may be some time before the verdict on that choice is known.

Totals of the cost involved in the recovery are not yet available.

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