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Storm cleanup continues in Monroe County | News

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Storm cleanup continues in Monroe County
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MADISONVILLE - The Monroe County Highway Department has moved more than 350 loads of debris to a nearby burn site since the February ice storm.

Crews have been hard at work for more than a month and officials said cleanup could very well continue into the late summer months.

The Monroe County Highway Department covers a lot of ground.

"Eight hundred fifty miles of county roads that we maintain," said Steve Teague, superintendent of Monroe County Highways.

The February ice storm is the reason most of those 850 miles were covered with broken trees and debris.

"We've had tornadoes. Two or three in the past four or five years," Teague explained. "But some of this is as bad as the tornado in the areas that have affected."

Cumberland County saw similar devastation after a Feb. 21 ice storm.

RELATED: FEMA in East Tenn. assessing February storm damage

MORE: Plateau hit hardest once again by winter weather

Even after crews moved more than 300 loads of debris to a nearby burn site for disposal, work is nowhere near complete.

"We are probably looking all summer and into the fall to get all of the roads taken care of," Teague said.

And this big project is putting a lot of others on the back burner.

"A lot of things this time of year you want to start doing, but it's all going to be put on hold until we get the debris picked up and the roads clear," Teague said.

Highway crews are also dealing with a number of potholes the weather added to their to-do list.

"A lot of calls on potholes," Teague said. "Just have to be patient. We are working on those."

Monroe County is one of 40 in the state that FEMA will be visiting this week for a preliminary damage assessment.

This will determine whether or not the county qualifies for reimbursement for damages.


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