Tower clean up process begins

 June 8, 2006

Doerun -- It's considered a salvage removal process, because much of the steel and wire will be recycled.    

When the two towers fell from the sky, they brought down 200 tons of steel and 40 tons of wire that will now need to be cleaned up. It will be a tedious and dangerous process because this steel is still under tremendous pressure, and will spring back at workers as they cut it up into smaller pieces to be hauled away.    

The first order of business is WFXL's damaged tower. The site where the MH 47 Chinook helicopter struck it was marked off and will be taken to a neutral site for investigation.  

"They've marked where they want to cut, they'll gentle it down very carefully so as not to damage it, put it on a truck tomorrow morning and put it in a warehouse," said Mark Loizeaux of Controlled Demolition Inc.  

With that piece out of the way, the remnants of both twisted towers will be recycled and the money put towards the clean up.  "All of the salvage materials is a credit against the cost of the project," Loizeaux said.  

The are four inch think pieces of solid steel of the WALB tower will have to be cut packaged up and moved from the site. "We're obligated to get the best price we can to help keep down the cost so, we're taking bids now from people," said Loizeaux.  "The debris field rests between the anchor or the anchors for the guides and it would be a 1,400 foot diameter circle around the two towers."

But most of the pieces are large and will need to be cut to transport, and with dry weather there are concerns. "We're concerned about having a grass fire, but we'll have a fire truck out here."

There will also be a Sheriff's deputy out here 24 hours a day guarding the site until the clean up is complete, and once again that clean up will take about six weeks to finish.  

Colquitt EMC crews removed power lines to the site before yesterday's demolition. No residential customers were without electricity, and crews put the lines back up today.