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RALEIGH, N.C. -- Homeowners and businesses who were affected by the ice storm last Friday have one less thing to worry about: what to do with all the debris.

On Tuesday, the N.C. Department of Transportation confirmed they are developing a plan to clean up debris along state-maintained roads in Orange, Alamance and Guilford counties, the areas hardest hit by last week's icy winter storm.

Department crews continue to clear any debris that may have fallen onto state-maintained roads, cutting up trees and branches and pushing them off to the side of the roadway. The pickup of that debris, as well as the vegetation debris residents who live along those roads place beside the roadway will be handled by contractors.

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The NCDOT is determining a cost estimate of the cleanup effort so it can award an emergency contract for debris removal. The governor's State of Emergency declaration last week enables NCDOT to waive the usual contract bidding process, which would take several weeks.

Once a contract is awarded, which could be by late next week, a schedule for debris pickup will be set.

What you need to do: In order to expedite pickup, residents in the three counties who live on state-maintained roads are asked to place debris along the side of the roadway as soon as possible. Do not place debris in travel lanes or in areas where it will block drainage or reduce visibility for motorists and pedestrians.

Please keep the following in mind while collecting debris for removal:

-- Check your homeowners insurance as often debris cleanup is covered by insurance and arrangements for its collection would be handled by the insurance company

-- NCDOT will only collect vegetation debris such as trees and limbs

-- Property owners are asked to cut storm-related vegetation debris into five- or six-foot pieces, if possible.

More:Beware of Clean up schemes

More: After storm clean up tips

More: Guilford County Winter Storm Recovery

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