BILOXI, Miss. -- Just how much is 40 million cubic yards?
Imagine filling every football field in Mississippi - more than 280 high school, college and municipal stadiums - 100 yards long, 50 yards wide and approximately eight stories high - to handle the entire 40 million cubic yards.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said the 40 million cubic yards represents all of the debris the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its contractors and local governments and their contractors have removed from 72 of Mississippi's 82 counties since last September. Another 3.82 million cubic yards remain to be picked up.
With almost 91 percent completed, debris removal on public, private and commercial property should surpass 44 million CY by the estimated June 30 completion date. Only Harrison, Hancock, Jackson, Perry, Pearl River, Lamar, Forrest, Covington, Jones and Lauderdale counties have debris yet to be removed.
Thus far, Harrison County leads in the amount of debris removed with almost 10.5 million CY. Hancock and Jackson counties each have picked up more than 5 million CY, while Pearl River's total is 3.74 million.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.