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Quapaw Residents Continue to Clear Storm Debris
By Gretchen Bolander
QUAPAW, OK.--- As Quapaw residents and business owners clear their lots, the piles of debris are growing along city streets. Now the challenge is getting rid of it all. City officials are working on one. They've already established one drop-off point at 1st and Elm Street.
"We're sending letters through the school today because that's the only way we have to get information out," said Terri Daniels, Quapaw City Clerk and Treasurer.
School is back in session, but it's anything but a normal day for the countless residents and workers clearing debris from the tornado.
"We're having them pull it to the curb, sort it as best as they can. And then we're going to have trucks come by and we have designated areas for different things," said Daniels.
The site at Elm and 1st Street is for vegetative debris only- trees, leaves, and brush. City workers have also asked that residents sort anything left at curbside. One pile for construction related materials. Another for white goods, that's basically household appliances, and a third pile for vegetation. City officials also have their own issues to tackle, city hall itself was damaged.
"We knew our porch was damaged, but there's structural damage too," said Daniels.
There's the challenge of keeping city services up and running. More than a dozen area fire, EMS and law enforcement agencies are pitching in.
"In just the first 15 minutes, sent onto Baxter. We had so much help here," said Randy Jackson, Quapaw Tribe Fire EMS.
Along with all of that are the ongoing issues with utilities. The good news is that electricity has been restored to the water system, so that's back to normal. Some power is reconnected on the north and south ends of town. Crews are working to put everyone back on the grid.
Meanwhile at the Quapaw Fire Department, there is serious damage to repair. Sheet metal was damaged in several areas and torn away in other. The tornado ripped many of the doors. Insulation was scattered around the building. Firefighters say the fire trucks also sustained some damage from flying debris but are usable. Quapaw FD is operating with the assistance of more than a dozen local agencies.