Storm Cleanup Cost for Roanoke More Than $500,000 - WSET.com - ABC13

Storm Cleanup Cost for Roanoke More Than $500,000

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Reporter:  David Tate

Roanoke, VA - A preliminary estimate by the City of Roanoke shows the cost to cleanup damage from June's devastating derecho will exceed $500,000.

That is the first projection sent to FEMA, all while crews continue to pick up debris.

The sound of heavy work going on outside his northeast Roanoke home got the attention of Earnest King. He couldn't be happier to see crews finally getting rid of storm debris that's been sitting there for weeks now.

"The lights was out five days. TV and cable was out five days. I'm glad to this all get cleanup now," said King.

In all, the cleanup for this storm in Roanoke alone will cost taxpayers at some level more than $500,000.

Emergency Management Director Mike Guzo crunched the numbers.

"That covered our emergency protective measure. Covered fire, EMS and law enforcement response, Public Works emergency response with barricades and Parks and Rec with downed trees and emergency tree removal: Cleaning the streets and the right away," said Guzo.

That number is important because Roanoke, like all localities hoping to recoup money, needs to meet a threshold in order to qualify for federal funds if Virginia is declared a national disaster area.

"We're tracking overtime. We're tracking fuel. We're tracking mileage, we're tracking all of the equipment we've used," said solid waste management director Skip Decker.

Decker is in charge of picking up the hundreds of tons of debris that is expected to put the cost well over the $500,000 estimate.

That estimate only includes the first two weeks of the cleanup, with a total of 30 days, post storm eligible, if those funds are ever granted.

"Based upon the overtime we have and the fuel that we have. Plus when we go to the resource authority it's $35 a ton. So $35 a ton times 1,500 tons... do the math," said Decker.

President Obama has granted national disaster status to Ohio and West Virginia.

On Wednesday, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management told ABC 13 that the formal request is being prepared for Governor McDonnell's signature, which will eventually be sent on to the President.

No date was given as to when that formal request would be made.

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