Local News

Trash from tropical storm's rain clogs rivers

Posted September 12, 2008 7:47 a.m. EDT
Updated September 12, 2008 6:00 p.m. EDT

— Flooding from Tropical Storm Hanna has jammed piles of debris under some bridges along the Cape Fear River in Cumberland County, adding to what residents already say is an eyesore.

Whole trees, tires, basketball, coolers, mats of grass, trash and even a small boat are in the piles, caught under bridges between Fayetteville and the upstream town of Lillington.

The Department of Transportation will clean up any large chunks of debris that threaten state bridges. They are concentrating on bridges that are under water and are checking them out for safety.

Other cleanup efforts are under way to help clean up the trash.

Fred Quigley, who volunteers for Fayetteville Beautiful, a group that picks up trash along roadways, says the group plans to begin next year cleaning up tributaries and streams that dump into the Cape Fear River.

"We want to remove trash from the tributaries, the stuff you see sitting on top of the pile, so it doesn't contribute to this problem," he said.

Quigley says another group, North Carolina Big Sweep, launches a waterway cleanup every year, removing tons of trash across the state.

Last year, volunteers removed nearly 730,000 pounds of debris from the waterways. The Cumberland County cleanup is set for next month.

Fred Edwards, who retired along Cape Fear River says people just picking up after themselves would be a good start.

"They could at least take a garbage bag with them to put their trash in, instead of throwing it into the river," he said. "They just don't care."

Fayetteville Beautiful will have a meeting this Tuesday at 2 p.m. in the Lafayette Room at Fayetteville City Hall to begin organizing volunteers.