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Contact(s):Scott Whiteley Carter
501-371-4421

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Friday, April 4, 2008

CITY OF LITTLE ROCK RESPONSE TO STORMS AND STORM CLEAN UP

Additional Resources to be Deployed to Aid in Debris Removal Following April 3 Storms

(April 4, 2008 -- Little Rock, AR) Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola and City Manager Bruce T. Moore discussed today the City’s response to the April 3 storms that caused damage in Little Rock and surrounding areas.

“In visiting with the City of Little Rock Emergency Management staff,” said Mayor Stodola, “I have been impressed by the high level of cooperation among the various agencies working to aid Little Rock’s citizens. Entergy, CenterPoint Energy, Pulaski County, MEMS, and the City of Little Rock’s Police, Fire, and Public Works Departments all worked together as a cohesive unit to immediately assist in ensuring the health and safety of Little Rock citizens in this tragic situation.”

City Manager Moore echoed the Mayor. “Obviously, we never want to have these disasters, but I am continually gratified by the way our City departments and partners respond when confronted by these emergencies.”

The City of Little Rock offers the following reminders for citizens in the aftermath of the storms:
1) If you think you smell a gas leak in your house, leave your house and go to a neighbor’s house to call 911.
2) Do not drive through standing water; there is no way to know how deep it is.
3) Check on neighbors who are elderly or disabled.
4) Stay away from downed power lines. Assume they are “live.”
5) To schedule storm debris pick up, call 311.

Fire Department
The Fire Department remains in “Storm Mode” today. Though there were no fires directly related to the storms, Fire Department personnel have checked on gas leaks and performed water rescues. The Fire Department is starting to check on residents who are disabled.

Police Department
The major concerns of the Police Department are assisting with removal of residents from damaged structures, increased protection in areas that have no power, controlling access to damaged areas, and traffic control in areas that have no traffic signals. Last night, Police did temporarily evacuate a few residents until leaking gas lines were capped.

Public Works Department
Once it became apparent that storms were imminent, Public Works started deploying crews last night. There are currently fifteen (15) crews working on debris removal. The first priority has been clearing streets that had no access due to damage, so that emergency vehicles and utility crews offer assistance. Public Works has erected barricades to close off streets and has loaned barricades to Cammack Village to aid in their efforts.

In addition to normal garbage and yard waste collection, the City will provide additional resources to address debris collection as residents recover from the storm aftermath.
Debris must be placed beside the curb. In order to ensure that the City is aware of the additional debris, residents are requested to turn in a request by calling 3-1-1.
The program will start today, Friday, April 4, and continue for the next several weeks to address debris from the April 3 storms.

The City’s Solid Waste crews will attempt to pick up as much of the tree material as possible with hand crews during normal yard waste collection. The restriction on length and diameter will be suspended for the next few weeks to help get this material picked up. Material that is extremely large in size or volume may be rescheduled for special pickup other than normal yard waste. 


Experience and excellent planning have aided in the City’s quick and comprehensive response. “We have been through situations similar to this in the past,” noted Mayor Stodola. “Our Office of Emergency Management immediately implemented the plans that have been prepared.”

City Manager Moore added, “I am proud to be working with the outstanding men and women of the City of Little Rock. They will continue their commitment to aiding victims of these storms until the last piece of debris has been picked up.”

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