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Volunteers save government $1.5M in wind storm cleanup costs

By Mike Anderson | Posted - Nov 30th, 2012 @ 7:17pm


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BOUNTIFUL — The Davis County wind storm cleanup was completed Friday and thanks to volunteers and neighbors helping neighbors, the cost came in way below the estimate.

After the Dec. 1 wind storm tore through Davis County and caused more than $100 million in damages. At the time, the cleanup of debris alone was expected to cost about $2 million. But the final price tag was just $300,000.

County leaders say that quick, almost overwhelming response is what helped the cleanup effort come in so far under budget.

"They all realized that the happiest day you have is the day you spend helping somebody else," said John Petroff of the Davis County Commission.

In the end, federal contractors were left with only the heavy work: clearing large trees to keep them from ending up downstream.

"Really all they left us were the huge diameter trees that were anything where you needed professional contractors to come in," said State Conservation Engineer Bronson Smart.

"I think it's just a testament to the volunteerism in Utah, and the things we can do when we all work together."

Nathan Rich, the director of the Davis County Landfill, says he was impressed at how many people were willing to lend a hand at drop off sites around the area, whether they had damage at their own homes or not.

"It was really interesting and good to be part of the community effort," Rich said.

Now, most of the massive piles of debris are processed and gone, though some larger trees remain in the landfill.

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