Baxter Springs Residents Work to Separate and Clear Storm Debris

BAXTER SPRINGS, KS.--- Baxter Springs residents and city crews are now working to separate and clear debris. City leaders are asking people to make several piles. They want all their metal, wood, electronics, and hazardous household items in separate piles alongside the curb. For some residents, organizing debris is the last thing on their mind.

"It's in a safe place off the edge of our yard, so we're focused on being able to live in our home so we don't have to live out of a hotel any longer," said Amy Bailey, Baxter Springs Resident.

Electronics and hazardous household wastes are being removed first. That would include lawn chemicals and cleaners, televisions and computers.

"They're going to come through and pick up the appliances and electronics waste, and household hazardous waste and take it to an off site location and then they will move forward with debris removal," said Kari West, Southeast Kansas Incident Management Team.

Kari West is part of the Southeast Kansas Incident Management Team. She says separating the items help keep the electronics out of the landfill.

"There are a lot of valuable things in the electronics depending on what it is that can be broken down and reused again, and so we're hoping to recycle the electronics. Appliances, there's some value in those," said West.

West says city leaders are also asking residents to also separate wood and metal.

"As they're sifting through their belongings and going through the recovery efforts, to stop and actually sort out construction debris into one pile and tree limbs into a separate pile," said West.

All the piles should be placed along curbside, which will allow crew workers to sweep the area quicker. However, some owners are not even thinking about organizing the debris, especially if there home has been marked as a complete loss.

"Our current plan is to have a roll off, we haven't heard from the city as far as what our expectations are yet, so we're bringing in a roll off bed getting everything out," said Jami Thiessen, Baxter Springs Resident.

Like most tornado victims, they are ready to finish the cleanup and start moving on.

"We're trying to get everything out so today's the last day we have to be here," said Thiessen.

City leaders are asking residents and volunteers to not park on the roadways so trucks can get through the streets to pick up the debris piles. If people need to a place to park, they need to try parking in the driveways.

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