City of Lucedale still working to get debris cleaned up more than seven months after Hurricane Zeta

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LUCEDALE, Miss. (WKRG) – The city of Lucedale says they are still working to get debris cleaned up more than seven months after Hurricane Zeta ravaged parts of the Gulf Coast.

Lucedale was hit particularly hard by the storm and city leaders say it’s taken a while to recover.

“Zeta did smack us really hard, as a matter of fact, I’ve heard folks comment they thought Zeta hit us worse than what Katrina did,” says Darwin Nelson, the Mayor of Lucedale.

Mayor Nelson says they had most of their debris picked up by December, but says they are still waiting for the Mississippi Department of Transportation to get their portion of the clean-up done along the state highways.

“By the first part of December, we basically had everything cleaned up within the city limits that we could. Now, we have state-aid highways running through the city. Highway198 right along here which is also Main Street is a state-aid highway. That is the responsibility of MDOT,” says Mayor Nelson.

Mayor Nelson says they’ve waited so long for MDOT to clean it up that they’ve thought about doing it themselves. But he says the city would not get reimbursed the funds to do the job.

WKRG News 5 reached out to MDOT to get an update on their clean-up efforts who says the debris removal will be complete by the end of August.

WKRG News 5 did see a crew along State Highway 198 working to get the debris removed on Monday morning.

“They should get it cleaned up. I don’t know what all MDOT has got on their plate though,” says Lisa, a Lucedale resident.

For the most part, residents have been patient throughout the clean-up process.

Mayor Nelson hopes all of it is removed soon, especially considering we are already entering another hurricane season.

“We had tropical storm come through this weekend. Fortunately, we are survivors of Tropical Storm Claudette, but you know the next one might not be that friendly,” says Mayor Nelson.

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