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New Plans Announced For Flood Cleanup, Debris Pickup

Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson says he's trying to recruit more volunteers to help people clean up their flood-damaged homes and a new effort is being organized to pick up debris in heavily damaged neighborhoods.

Abramson says Metro Solid Waste crews will conduct extra curbside pickups in conjunction with their normal junk collection routes, a process that will take several weeks. He says no homeowners will be fined for setting out flood debris.Free debris dropoff sites at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium and the Morris-Foreman Treatment Plant will remain open through Sunday. A third site on the old Philip Morris property at 18th and Broadway will accept debris through August 30.The August 4 flash flood led to a federal disaster declaration last week.More information is in this press release from Metro Government:Mayor Calls for Cleanup Volunteers, Reassures Homeowners No fines to be issued for flood debris on curb; one drop-off site to remain openLOUISVILLE (August 20, 2009) – Mayor Abramson today redoubled efforts to recruit local volunteers to assist citizens in clearing out and sanitizing flood-damaged homes.“I’m calling on our faith-based organizations to help clear and clean these homes for our citizens who cannot do it alone,” Abramson said. “Without swift action, mold may overtake homes and threaten the health of families.”After the flood, residents who were unable to clean out their homes alone were encouraged to call Metro United Way, which coordinates the volunteer effort. The agency has taken more than 800 requests for home-cleaning assistance. About 300 citizens are still awaiting help.More than 100 volunteers from surrounding states have been working in damaged homes since the August 4 flood. More than 150 local citizens have volunteered to help through Metro United Way and many others have helped neighbors, friends and church members.“The need is great and the need is immediate,” Abramson said. “Many are weary after two natural disasters, but I know that Louisville’s citizens will once again work together to help neighbors in need.”People wishing to volunteer should call Metro United Way at 292-6107. People who need cleanup assistance should call 292-6115. Callers will get an answering machine. All callers will be called back within 24 hours, Metro United Way officials say.No Citations or Fines for Flood Debris on CurbsLouisville Metro Solid Waste crews are clearing flood-damaged property from curbsides in the most heavily damaged areas as part of the city’s on-going junk pick-up routes. The effort will take several weeks, but flood-damaged debris will be removed free of charge for those who cannot transport it to drop-off sites.Louisville Metro Government crews and Metro United Way volunteers are making targeted collections of flood-damaged property outside the junk pick-up routes.Abramson reminded residents again that no citations or fines will be issued for items placed for curbside pickup. Some homeowners may have worried about being fined for setting out flood debris.Residents may check their regular junk pickup schedule by visiting www.louisvilleky.gov/SolidWaste/Junk+Disposal/ or by calling MetroCall 311.One Free Drop-off Site to Remain Open Next WeekAs daily visits to the city’s three free flood debris drop-off sites dwindle, the Louisville Metro Public Works Department announced it will keep one site open for drop-off.The old Phillip Morris site at 18th and Broadway will remain open daily from 12 to 8 p.m. through Sunday, August 30.The other two sites, the Morris Forman MSD wastewater treatment plant at 4522 Algonquin Parkway, and the Green Lot at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium will close at 8 p.m. Sunday, August 23.Residents have disposed of more than 8,000 truckloads of flood-damaged items at the free drop-off sites since they opened.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.