Contractors to Join WVDOH in Storm Clean-Up Effort - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Contractors to Join WVDOH in Storm Clean-Up Effort

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Nearly one month after Superstorm Sandy hit West Virginia, the recovery effort continues across the state.

The Division of Highways said all roadways are clear of debris left from Superstorm Sandy, but said there is still much work to be done.

"There's hundreds of miles of roads that needs debris removed from the right-of-ways, and is a potentially dangerous situation," said West Virginia Department of Transportation Incident Coordinator, Donald Willims. "The amount of debris is so extensive that we need assistance and a supplemental workforce to help remove that material."

More than 100 independent contractors met with the Division of Highways Wednesday to bid for contracts to remove debris left behind by the storm.

"They're doing very well, but they're overwhelmed," said Jerry Hoke, Sr., president of Hoke Brothers Contracting, Inc. "That's the reason they're letting the contracts."

The DOH said contractors will be hired to speed up the debris clean-up, now that the West Virginia National Guard first-responders have ended their involvement in storm recovery.

"What we've done in terms of debris removal, the national guard itself will help consolidate brush piles and take them to a major dumping area," said Lt. Col. David Lester of the West Virginia National Guard. "We do our part to get it there and get it piled up but after that it's up to them."

Chosen contractors will work on clean-up throughout West Virginia until April 30, 2013. However, some contractors said they are available until all debris is removed.

"We do like the DOH to know we are available and we would like to do some of the work," Hoke said. "Here we're going to be clearing and grubbing, same difference."