Tuesday, October 11, 2005

N.O. will burn debris because of threat of Formosan termite.

Mountains of woody debris cover the wide median of Pontchartrain Boulevard in New Orleans' flooded Lakeview area.

The pile is growing so high that roads have been carved in the shrubs, trees and other vegetative debris to allow trucks and cranes to add to the ever-growing peak.

All of it - about 50 million cubic yards of vegetative debris in the nine-parish New Orleans area produced by Hurricane Katrina - is going through a process, from chainsaws to wood chippers, that will end in incineration.

By burning in place, the state is making sure Formosan termites, the ferocious and tenacious pest that can carry its own water supply, will not spread. Formosans, brought in from ballast in ships coming from Formosa, have spread steadily but are pandemic in New Orleans.

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