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Volunteers helped wind damaged communities save man hours, money

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KAYSVILLE — What Davis County residents accomplished in Kaysville in just eight hours on Sunday would have taken the city at least two months to complete, according to Kaysville Mayor Steve Hiatt.

But Hiatt said Utahns coming together to help their neighbors in a time of crisis really isn't anything new.

"I think we're a different culture of people," Hiatt said. "I was seeing men, women and children out cleaning up. There was no one who wasn't putting in effort."

In a state that has seen Utahns band together in such emergency situations as the Herriman wildfire of 2010 and the floods of 1983, Hiatt said Sunday was another example of volunteers answering the call for help.

"The lion's share of labor came from our residents who bound together," he said. "I have never in my life seen a more organized, dedicated effort."

The Davis County Sheriff's Office reported Monday afternoon that the Davis County Landfill had received at least 3,100 tons of waste since Thursday. The Bountiful City Landfill had received at least 1,253 trucks full of debris and waste from Thursday to Monday afternoon.

Not only did individual citizens answer the call for help, but many private businesses also donated their manpower and machinery to help clear out debris left behind by last week's devastating windstorm through Davis County.

"Their help was tremendous," said Bountiful Police Sgt, Gary Koehn. "People were working eight to 10 hours, especially (Sunday). The lines to the dump were unbelievable."

Koehn credited many small and big business alike for pitching in, such as Woods Cross-based Wind River Excavating that donated several of its trucks for removing tree limbs.

As of Sunday night, Koehn said officers had counted 225 large piles — ones that would require front-loaders to remove — still on the streets of Bountiful.

In Kaysville, Hiatt said businesses like Morgan Asphalt donated large trucks to help get green waste to a temporary landfill set up on a 10-acre field at 1285 S. Angel Street that's to be developed into a park.

"It was an enormous amount of waste," he said.

Between 100 and 150 vehicles with volunteers dropping off green waste were lined up to get into the park all day Sunday, the mayor said.

"Our residents came through like you couldn't believe," he said.

Those who weren't moving tree stumps and limbs were randomly delivering drinks and food to those who were working.

"In Utah, people generally put others before themselves. There was never more evidence of that than we saw yesterday," Hiatt said.

The volunteer effort likely saved Kaysville tens of thousands of dollars, Hiatt said.

The next phase of cleanup will be "aggressively" moving the collected debris from the future park to the real landfill. Hiatt said he's curious to find out which city is collecting the most debris as the landfill is keeping track of what is being dropped off from each community.

The Utah National Guard planned to continue assisting cleanup efforts in Bountiful, Centerville, Farmington and Kaysville at least through Tuesday, said Joe Dougherty, public information officer for the Utah Division of Emergency Management.

The Guard transported more than 45 loads to landfills by noon on Monday, said Maj. Bruce Roberts. About 200 personnel from as far away as Manti and Mount Pleasant, together with 70 pieces of heavy equipment, helped support the efforts.

Kaysville closed its temporary dump site Monday. Centerville also suspended its collecting operations at five temporary sites and began its "recovery operations" to truck the materials to the landfills, said Corvin Snyder, Centerville's community development director.

Davis County residents can take green waste to the Davis County Landfill free of charge until Dec. 17.

In Bountiful, the city will continue to pick up debris from the curb for the next two weeks for residents who can't get to the city landfill, according to the city's website. All debris on the curb must be cut to lengths of less than 10 feet.


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Pat Reavy


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