Augusta Fairgrounds crunch time for cleanup

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Friday, March 21st, 2014


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Mounds of debris at the Augusta Fairgrounds is still adding up, but pretty soon they're going to have to start tearing all that down.

It's a race against the clock.

Crews have about a month to have the mounds and mounds of debris at the fairgrounds cleared out and have it look like they've never been there.

"Everything will be collected ground and hauled off," said Ralph Natale.

Debris continues to come in, limbs ground into mulch, and pile keeps growing. Crews said the debris estimate doubled.

"The original FEMA estimate was about 100,000 cubic yards and our initial estimate between Leidos, the engineering department, and Ash Britt, was about 250,000 cubic yards," said Natale.

The new estimate is 600,000 cubic yards by the time it's all over.

Joe Taylor said the city came to them in dire need of somewhere to house all the debris, and he says this is something he's never seen in his lifetime.

"I knew this was going to be a collection site but this is just mind blowing. They brought in the chipper and they started grinding everything and they started filling up the other end and these mounds started to get taller and taller and taller," said Taylor.

Taylor says they allowed the city to use the fairgrounds as a collection site free of charge but there was just one stipulation. They had to be out in time for the annual Powerfest event. The hip hop concert and car show that brings in thousands.

"Once everything is removed then they have to come and prepare the surface back to usable conditions," Taylor said.

What crews are doing for clean up is grinding down the new debris and loading it into trucks taking it to the landfill. The clock is ticking, but no one is worried.

"We have no doubt that we'll finish by then" said Natale.

That is the agreement and we're not concerned at all. I've been told it will be in better shape when they finish then when they started," Taylor said.

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