AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - Nearly two and half months after and E-F 3 tornado touched down in Lee County, residents are continuing to rebuild their lives.
"If you drive through that area, the rebuilding has begun and the community is in the recovery process. Of course there are still a lot of places that have broken down trees and we will see that for quite some time, but we've gotten the most of it," says Lee County Emergency Management Agency Director, Kathy Carson.
At the Lee County Commission meeting Monday July 14, Carson presented the final figures for the debris pickup.
The storm cost Lee County a total of $444,000 in debris removal.
"And that doesn't include all the cleanup that private individuals did, debris on their own property and things of that nature that they cleaned up themselves. This was only on the public ride-of-way," explains Carson.
However, since Alabama was declared a State of Emergency, the Federal Government will pay 80 to 85 percent of that total, leaving Lee County to pay $37,000 out of their own pocket.
"We are very fortunate there was a declaration in this event," says Carson
Carson says the last debris pickup was June 21 and every need has been met in Lee County to date.
Even though this tornado leveled homes and stripped families of their belongings, it didn't deteriorate the community spirit.
"This community pulled together to help. Not just Salem and Smiths Station, but Phenix City, Columbus, Opelika, Auburn, everybody came together to help these people get back on their feet," explains Carson.
In other commission news, Lee County was awarded an $112,000 recycling grant by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.
New trailers, containers and bins will be placed around parts of Lee County including Auburn, Opelika and Auburn University to encourage community members to continue to recycle.