5.25 Million Cubic Yards Collected, Sandy Cleanup Nearly Done

FEMA said the amount of debris removed after the hurricane hit the New York City area would fill the Empire State Building more than 3.5 times.

Debris removal following Hurricane Sandy in the New York City area about finished, FEMA announced Feb. 1. The agency reported more than 95 percent of the debris had been removed within 95 days after the storm came ashore.

"That includes everything from fallen trees to vehicles, boats, drywall and furniture, washers, dryers, and insulation. It all amounts to 5.25 million cubic yards of debris caused by the strong winds and heavy rains created by Hurricane Sandy, beginning Oct. 27, 2012. That's enough debris to fill the 102-story Empire State Building a little more than 3.5 times," according to the agency's news release.

FEMA reported the demolition of destroyed structures is not finished, however, and is about 20 percent complete.

The debris cleanup has involved many residents and volunteers. Barges were used to haul debris to landfills in upstate New York, and trucks delivered some material to landfills in other states. Vegetation has been incinerated or chipped to be recycled.

A U.S. Army Corp of Engineers video of the debris work is available here.

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