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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 12, 2003
CONTACT: Mary Charles, Communications Officer, (816) 513-1356

City continues tornado recovery

City crews will continue curbside pickup of tree debris as needed during the week of May 12-16. The crews are picking up only tree debris in neighborhoods where extensive tornado damage occurred. The subdivisions are Brookhill, Carriage Hills Estates, Charleston Harbor, Cherokee Heights, Highridge Manor, Northbrook Park, Maple Park Gardens, Sumerset, Valley Brook, Valleyview Acres, and Woodfield. For more information, call (816) 513-9550.

The Department of Environmental Management is maintaining the large trash bins at 64th and North Jackson, and 62nd and Cypress. The two trash bins at each location are being emptied on a regular basis. Residents can put all types of storm debris in the bins, except hazardous waste.

Residents can drop off tree debris at the City’s Environmental Campus, 4701 Deramus. The site is open Saturdays from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m., and Sundays from noon until 6 p.m.

The Parks and Recreation Department has cleared the right-of-way on Pleasant Valley Road from N. Jackson to Shoal Creek Parkway. The department will move debris collected at Pleasant Valley Park to an appropriate landfill May 17-18.

The Police Department has released the perimeter around the affected area. The road blocks have been removed to facilitate the demolition and reconstruction of housing. The police will maintain a 24-hour presence in the area and continue roving patrols. Citizens should report suspicious activities to 911.

Demolition of many properties in the tornado-stricken areas of Kansas City is in progress. According to the Dangerous Buildings Division of the Neighborhood and Community Services Department, various insurance companies and property owners have hired demolition contractors, who are scheduled to demolish the houses this week. So far, the City has performed only one demolition.

Insurance companies are required by state law to pay the City 25 percent of insurance claims paid when the claim exceeds 50 percent of the property value. These funds are held by the City until demolition or repair has been completed. For many of the properties destroyed by the tornado, the 25 percent will substantially exceed the estimated cost of demolition. Rather than hold onto more than is necessary, the City will release all but an amount equal to the estimated demolition cost. The remaining amount will be released after the demolition is completed, unless the City performs the demolition. In those cases, the balance remaining will be released after demolition costs are paid.

A FEMA Disaster Recovery Center has been established at the Northland Neighborhoods Office, 5312 N.E. Chouteau Trafficway, in Antioch Mall. The center is open today from 1-6 p.m. and will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. Individuals and small business owners can visit the center to discuss their disaster-related losses with representatives from FEMA, SEMA, SBA and other agencies.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses can apply for assistance by calling (800) 621-FEMA (3362), or (800) 462-7585 (TYY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

    
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