Heavy equipment and trucks paraded into Sunset Heights near U.S. 177 and Interstate 40 Friday, where crews contracted by Pottawatomie County commissioners began the task of removing tornado-related debris.
The neighborhood was one of many with damage after tornadoes moved across Pottawatomie County May 19, killing two people and destroying homes in the path.
District 1 Pottawatomie County Commissioner Melissa Dennis said on the first day, crews hauled away about 434 cubic yards of vegetation from Twilight Lane in that addition, along with about 339 cubic yards of construction-related debris from Calle La Venta Street.
Crews will resume work at 7 a.m. today, she said.
Pottawatomie County commissioners, who awarded bids for the clean up to an Alabama company, anticipate there is about 30,000 cubic yards of waste to be picked up in county areas affected by the storms.
District 2 Commissioner Randy Thomas, who has a lot of tornado debris in his area, said he and Dennis will split the crews and five to eight trucks between their two districts.
He expects to have two trucks in Steelman Estates Monday and then have the other two start at the western Pottawatomie County line and slowly work east.
"We'll hit the ground running," he said.
Crews will take tree limbs and that type of debris to a burn area in Shawnee, while the other types of debris have to be hauled to landfills.
In his district, Thomas anticipates they'll get tree limbs first since they have a close drop off point, and then crews will begin hauling items of mixed debris to the landfills.
Watch for updates.