Tornado Victims in Pulaski Co. Say Cleanup Being Hampered

WEST PULASKI COUNTY, AR -- It's been almost two weeks since an EF-4 tornado ripped through parts of central Arkansas.
Some in west Pulaski County say clean-up progress is being held up because they can't get debris hauled away.
Pulaski County Judge Buddy Villines says the roads providing access to these homes are private, so, for the most part, county equipment cannot drive on the them.
That leaves residents looking for a solution so they can move forward.

"As we get down here you see we've got metal to the right, we got debris to the left," said Jeff Nice pointing to remnants of trees and homes.

Nice has been helping with the long and hard clean up effort at the property where his brother-in-law Robert Tittle lived.
Tittle, along with two of his daughters, died here during the tornado, leaving his wife and seven surviving children to pick up the pieces.

With the help of volunteers, some bringing heaving machinery, debris around the property has been separated and stacked.  There's piles consisting of remnants of downed trees, twisted metal, and construction and home debris.

"The key problem is we've got these huge piles strung out all over the property," Nice said.

FEMA says it only picks up debris that's blocking roads or leaning against homes.  Pulaski County officials say they can't access the areas because roads are private property.

The county has made an exception to allowing tree removal trucks to access the private roads, but debris would have to be brought within ten feet of the road.

"There's no way we can use manpower," Nice said.

Construction and household items must be brought to a dumpster on a public road about a mile away.  That's another tall task for residents, but it's quickly becoming the most urgent.

"The stench is, at times, kind of overpowering," Nice said.

Nice says insurance would cover about $1,000 over debris removal cost, but appraisals for the work are coming in between $10,000 to $15,000.

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