Important Reminders for Debris Removal, Floodwater Safety Issued from Department for Environmental Protection

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 22, 2017) – Tropical Storm Cindy is due to blow into Kentucky this evening, and could bring with it several inches of rain and damaging winds.

Due to the damage that is possible with this storm, the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) would like to remind everyone that there are specific guidelines for proper disposal of woody and vegetative debris left in the aftermath of severe storms.

At the same time, flash flooding is expected with this storm, and DEP wants to remind Kentuckians that driving into hazardous floodwater is dangerous, can lead to the driver’s death and often puts first responders in unnecessary danger. Turn around, don’t drown.

For storm debris, Kentuckians should contact their local solid waste coordinator to find out if debris will be picked up curbside or if debris must be taken to a designated location. A list of coordinators is online at DEP’s Division of Waste Management site http://waste.ky.gov/RLA/Documents/Solid%20Waste%20Coordinators%208-25-10.pdf. For more information, please see the Storm Debris Fact Sheet at http://dca.ky.gov/DCA%20Resource%20Document%20Library/StormDebris070816.pdf.

Recycling is the preferred disposal method for many kinds of debris. Local governments are strongly encouraged to recycle debris by shredding or chipping for reuse as mulch. Those lacking the equipment should consider commercial shredders or seek help from other cities and counties.

If recycling is not feasible, cities or counties should identify staging areas where storm debris can be temporarily stored or burned. At a minimum, staging areas must be well away from residences and businesses. They also must be out of floodplains and away from sinkholes and drainage channels.

Kentucky restricts open burning. Burning is only permitted in limited circumstances and under specific conditions. More details are online at DEP’s Division for Air Quality site http://air.ky.gov/Pages/OpenBurning.aspx.

Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm related hazard.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report more than half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous floodwater.

The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near floodwaters.

People underestimate the force and power of water. Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream.

Of these drownings, many are preventable, but too many people continue to drive around the barriers that warn you the road is flooded.

A mere 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a small car, while two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles. It is NEVER safe to drive or walk into floodwaters.

Please be safe and use good judgment with floodwater and storm debris as Tropical Storm Cindy blows through Kentucky.

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