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Natchez hires assistance for storm cleanup

NATCHEZ — City of Natchez officials hired companies to assist with the removal of tree limbs and winter storm debris from the yards of private residences during a special-called meeting Thursday.

All that is needed is for citizens to move debris by the curb outside their homes.

Looks Great Services of Mississippi in Columbia has been hired at a rate of $30 per cubic yard for debris removal and Debris Tech in Picayune at a rate of $20 per cubic yard for debris review — which entails them watching the debris removal process to ensure compliance with Federal Emergency Management Agency regulations.

Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson said the companies could start within one to two days of their approval on Thursday.

“They should be starting in the next 48 hours and will continue until it’s clean all over the city,” Gibson said after Thursday’s meeting. “All people need to do is move everything to the curb. It doesn’t have to be any certain size because this company is musing machinery to load it. They just need to try their best not to block traffic, sidewalks and keep it off of utilities like gas and water.”

Gibson said if there is house debris from storm damage, that debris can also be left by the curb but must be separated from natural debris like tree limbs.

On Tuesday, the Natchez Mayor and Board of Aldermen moved to hire ER Assist Disaster Funding Solutions — a Bentonville, Arkansas-based disaster relief company — to help procure monetary aid for disaster recovery.

The city will meet the damage threshold required for federal aid from FEMA, Gibson said, adding disaster recovery services from ER Assist, Looks Great Services and Debris Tech should be reimbursed.

Susan Hartman of ER Assist said ER Assist would only be paid for their work of assessing storm damage if the city does receive funds from FEMA.

Hartman said FEMA takes 5 percent of the total claim and adds that to the funds allocated and it’s out of that 5 percent pot that ER Assist would receive payment for assessment work.

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