Recovery Operations Underway In Harveyville

What's left of a church hit by a tornado in Harveyville, Kan. on February 28, 2012. Photo by Eric Ives
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Recovery operations are underway throughout the city of Harveyville. Debris is being segregated and transported to a local landfill that has been established east of town in cooperation with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Loads of debris are being inspected prior to entering the landfill to ensure that the tornado debris is being disposed of efficiently and properly so as to have a minimal effect on the local environment.

On Thursday, March 1, 2012 the following progress has been reported:

· 210 loads of tornado debris were moved to the landfill.

· Those 210 loads held an estimated 1,760 square yards of debris.

· 560 individual volunteers registered and worked in Harveyville yesterday.

· In addition to those individuals who volunteered, 55 private contractors volunteered their services in Harveyville removing debris, trimming trees and assisting local residents.

· Natural gas and electrical service has been restored to all habitable residences and businesses in Harveyville.

Volunteers will continue to be accepted today, and through the weekend, to assist the residents of Harveyville. People wishing to volunteer need to report to Mission Valley School, 12913 Mission Valley Road, Eskridge, Kan where they will complete liability release forms, receive a wrist band and attend a safety briefing. Once these are completed, volunteers will be transported by bus to Harveyville, as there is limited parking available in town due to the use of heavy equipment for debris removal.

When they arrive in Harveyville, volunteers will be matched with a specific request for assistance from a resident. Volunteers should be prepared to do strenuous outdoor work and wear appropriate clothing, such as pants, long sleeve shirts and sturdy, comfortable boots that will resist penetration by nails and other sharp debris. Emergency Medical Services in Harveyville reported that 9 volunteers suffered minor injuries while working on Thursday, primarily from stepping on loose nails and abrasions from handling sharp debris. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age unless coming as part of an organized group. If coming with an organized group, volunteers should inquire about what age restrictions that group may have.

Buses will run back and forth to Eskridge all day, but volunteer work will stop at 5 p.m to make sure the town is cleared before dark. Today and tomorrow, March 2 and 3, the work schedule will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the first transport leaving Mission Valley High School at 9 a.m. On Sunday, the work schedule will be from noon to 5 p.m. with the first transport leaving at 1 p.m.