The post-flood cleanup of Huntsville should be starting soon.
Tarmo Uukkivi, the town’s Director of Operations and Protective Services, says the damage this year is “pretty well in line” with past flooding events, with the lion’s share of the cleanup efforts being debris on Huntsville’s waterways.
“The debris ranges from free-floating docks that have broken away from the shoreline to floating trees, and other garbage and debris,” says Uukkivi. “So there is quite a bit of debris left floating downstream, and we are looking at the plan to clean it all up.”
Uukkivi says they’re monitoring water flows daily, and work will begin once those are low enough to be safe for the cleanup barge.
“We’re looking right now at a tentative date of May 8 to have the barge in the water, and hopefully have all the cleanup completed within a few days after that,” says Uukkivi.
According to Uukkivi, crews are keeping an eye on roadways to fill in washed-out gravel patches and repair any other damage to surfaces, shoulders, or drainage.
Uukkivi says anyone who lost their dock can report it to the OPP at 705-789-5551. He adds that the town has already identified the owners of a few of them, and the town will set up a process to return any others.
Until the flooding has completely subsided, Uukkivi asks boaters to keep safety in mind.
“Although the water levels have decreased the flow rates are still very high, and can be especially dangerous for inexperienced boat operators,” says Uukkivi. “The bigger concern is the debris in the water. Often you can’t see it until it’s too late and you’re right on top of it. So take it slow, help prevent shoreline erosion, and be safe when you’re operating your vessel out there.”