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Summary: City's Response to Recent Severe Weather
Monday, March 5, 2012


The Mayor signed the Declaration of State of Emergency on Saturday, so the step of assessment and evaluation is now under way with representatives from the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management. It is undetermined when this process will be completed and undetermined as to what the financial support  may or may not be. 
 
CMPD and CFD 
CMPD sent two squads (25 officers) from the Civil Emergency Unit to the scene. Officers from throughout the City were also pulled to assist the affected area without reducing protection or service to other areas of the City. Chief Monroe was on-scene with the Helicopter Unit to evaluate the damage and work with other City departments. Search and rescue was the initial response which later turned into scene security with multiple patrols in the entire area. 

A strong presence from CMPD and CFD has been maintained throughout the weekend including portable lighting for the affected subdivisions. Business Support Services’ Equipment Management Division assisted CMPD in locating all terrain vehicles to maneuver around debris in the area. 
 
CATS
CATS sent two buses out early Saturday morning to assist with victims of the tornado in getting to the established shelters. Saturday afternoon CATS transported victims back to their neighborhoods to begin the damage assessments.
 
Damage Assessment
On Saturday, March 2 at 6:30 a.m. the Damage Assessment Response Team, consisting of City code inspectors and technology staff was activated. By 7:30 a.m. there were 13 inspectors on-site to perform assessments. The team inspected 162 structures that sustained some type of damage. Staff cataloged and mapped all the affected locations and provided a report to the state FEMA office by 10 p.m. on Saturday evening.  
 
Debris Cleanup
Charlotte Department of Transportation (CDOT) Street Maintenance, Engineering & Property Management’s Landscape Management and Solid Waste Services (SWS) were able to make a complete first pass of the area impacted by the weekend tornados. 
 
Citizens are urged to cut and stack the storm debris curbside for removal during the week of March 5 through March 9 as crews will be deployed on each of those days. On Friday, March 9, the three City teams will reassess the remaining work and issue an update. Street Maintenance crews will continue to make sweeps in the affected neighborhoods through the end of next week (3/16/12). They will have two excavators and 8 tandem dump trucks on site.
 
SWS deployed 10 crews on Monday into the east Charlotte neighborhoods of Reedy Creek Plantation, Cambridge Commons, Steeplechase, and Brookstead Meadows. The crews completed a full pass through Reedy Creek Plantation, focusing on the following streets: Dulin Creek Boulevard, Little Whiteoak Road, Four Sisters Lane, Gold Pan Road, Fire Fly Lane, Reedy Plantation, and Amberglades Lane; and will finish the day servicing the Brookstead Meadows neighborhood. Other SWS service delivery was not affected; Special Services crews and vehicles were reassigned temporarily and yard waste crews reported to the area after completing assigned routes.
 
Yard waste comprises the largest component of collection and needs to be sized to City ordinance specifications for pick up. Trees must be cut to no more than 4 inches in diameter and 5 feet in length.  Although the City realizes cutting down the debris may be difficult for residents, the restrictions are necessary in order for the debris to fit into the grinding equipment. A restricting shield on the grinder prevents projectiles from being thrown and also restricts the size of the objects that can be placed in the grinder.
 
Disposal fees for yard debris and construction and demolition debris resultant from Saturday’s tornado will be waived for residents of Mecklenburg County using personal automobiles, SUVs, pickup trucks and trailers and applies solely to the County’s Hickory Grove Recycling Center at 8007 Pence Road. The fee waiver will not be applicable to any commercial or contractor vehicles. 
 
A number of citizens have reported lost garbage or recycling containers due to the storm; citizens who call 311 or submit a request via www.charmeck.org will receive next-day delivery of replacement containers.  Bagged household waste will be collected if no garbage cart is available.  No changes are anticipated in recycling service as the impacted area is not scheduled for service until the week beginning March 12 (Orange week).
 
Animal Care & Control
Animal Care & Control did not have to house any pets of at the shelter under disaster boarding.  Below is my update to the media that I sent yesterday.  We currently have two stray dogs at the shelter that were picked up on Saturday & Sunday near tornado damaged homes.  So far no one has come forward to reclaim them.  The news media has been very generous in airing their photos.
 
Citizens are encouraged to call 311 with questions or requests for service.