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2 months after ice storm, 'massive' cleanup across 14 counties moves ahead

County Administrator: 'One of the most significant cleanup efforts that VDOT has managed'
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Posted at 3:09 PM, Apr 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-08 15:19:10-04

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. -- Back-to-back ice storms in February left parts of the Tri-Cities and southside Virginia without power and covered in debris.

Even though power has been restored, nearly two months later, the cleanup is still a work in progress in Dinwiddie and 13 other counties.

"It's a massive project,” Dinwiddie County Administrator Kevin Massengill explained. "This is one of the most significant cleanup efforts that VDOT has managed through a contractor like this."

Massengill said the day after the Feb. 13 ice storm 96% of the 507-square-mile county’s roads were impassable.

On Valentine’s morning, the county’s goal was to enable crews to restore power.

"In order to make the roads passable so that the contractors working the linemen, could get to the electrical lines, they pushed a lot of the debris to the right of way," Massengill explained.

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Ice Storm Aftermath

Now almost two months later, work continues to clear the debris.

Jim Pouzar, who lives just off one of the roads heavily covered with debris, said the project is “going kind of slow” and that he wishes the project would go faster.

"Right at the edge of the road and that's very dangerous, cause it's going to decapitate somebody, if somebody runs off the road," Pouzar said.

But he admits “it is a big project.”

In fact, VDOT has had tree trimming crews spread out from the North Carolina border in Mecklenburg County to Dinwiddie County to “go back and get that type of debris out of the right of way,” Massengill said.

Crews are also working to remove leaning trees and limbs while trying to clean out the debris in ditches and on the roadside.

Along with cleaning up Interstate 85 and Route 460, roads like Boisseau and Trinity Church have debris lying on the edge if not in the roadway.

In just Dinwiddie County, crews are approximately 70% finished cutting hanging limbs and 40% finished removing debris from roadsides.

But subsequent storms have downed more trees and limbs.

In just Dinwiddie County, crews are approximately 70% finished cutting hanging limbs and 40% finished removing debris from roadsides.

VDOT estimates 127,000 hanging tree limbs are being worked on along with 370,000 cubic yards of debris removed from roadsides in the 14 counties involved in the project. Officials estimate 130,000 cubic yards of debris has been removed so far

The cost for the debris removal project stands at $23 million with work slated to be completed by late June.

Dinwiddie County asks citizens who see a dangerous tree or limb to report it by calling 804-469-4500.