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March 3, 2013

Tornado cleanup reaches final phase

County building commissioner says progress being made

HENRYVILLE — Remnants of the March 2, 2012, tornadoes remain in parts of Henryville, Marysville, Borden and Otisco, but the damage is almost completely cleaned up. 

Clark County Building Commissioner and Enforcement Officer Tony Semones told the Clark County Commissioners at a recent meeting that 15 houses and one commercial building still have “moderate or severe” damage that needs to be addressed, while 12 piles of trash and debris are still in need of removal.

On Feb. 21 and 22, Semones sent letters to the owners of properties where the trash piles are located, and the responses to his requests for action are already starting to roll in, he said. 

“I’ve been getting a fairly significant response, actually a little better than I thought.” 

Semones estimated that he’s spoken with between six and eight property owners with tornado debris issues. While no one area is completely cleaned up, progress is being made in most places, he said. 

Semones gave each property owner 30 days to respond to his letters. 

“Most of them have told me [cleanup will be completed] within 30 days,” Semones said. “We gave them 30 days to make a response, and our hope was to get most of that stuff cleaned up in 30 days.”

Semones says he’s happy as long as progress is being made to clean up the properties. Weather and family issues can cause delays.

“Our goal is to try to get up to 90 percent of the remaining things that we’re dealing with, which would probably be 99 percent of the overall deal ... by Memorial Day,” Semones said. “We’ll see if we can get there, but at the same time we don’t want to tell people that you have until Memorial Day, because the next thing you know it’s into June and July. 

“We’re trying to get them to work on this 30-day plan, knowing that we’re going to have some weather issues, knowing that we’re going to have some other issues that come up from time to time.”

Semones’ office can be reached by calling 812-285-6285.

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