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Iowa City Expects Two Weeks of Cleanup

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IOWA CITY - It could take weeks to completely clean up the debris from Thursday's tornadoes in Iowa City. Two hundred buildings need some sort of repair.

The sound of chainsaws can be heard throughout Iowa City neighborhoods. In Martin Cassell's backyard, a 100-year-old tree lies on its side waiting to be cut up. He is getting help from the neighbors. Cassell said, "The local neighborhood has been fantastic."

People outside Cassell's neighborhood have not been as helpful. Now a sign in his front yard warns look-ee-loo's to lend a hand or leave. Cassell said, "It's a little upfront and in your face, but I don't disagree with the sentiment."

In other parts of town, city crews work on power lines. Houses on this street might have to come down eventually, but those decisions will come later. For now, the city wants to clean up. Iowa City Director of Public Works Rick Fosse said, "Our first priority is clearing the streets and reestablishing traffic. The second priority is getting debris out of the neighborhoods and parks."

With streets lined with tree branches, cleanup could take two weeks or longer. But as long as people put the debris in the street, the city will pick it up. Fosse just asks everyone to separate wood from brick and glass.

If anyone wants to take trash to the landfill, it is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Wednesday. People have already dumped 20,000 tons of trash and debris so far.

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