Warehouse Owner Questioned By Residents Over West Nile Concerns

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TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (WHNT) - Standing water in the Shoals is sparking concern over the West Nile virus.

Some Tuscumbia residents are worried a warehouse serves as the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Susan Roden lives across the street from the warehouse filled with tires.  As water collects, Roden says the mosquitoes multiply.

“You come outside and you may stay 10 minutes and by the time you go in, you may have 30-40 mosquito bites on you,” said Roden.

With confirmed West Nile cases across the country, the threat of the disease has nearby neighbors on edge.

“I`m sitting here worrying which kid in this neighborhood is going to get bit by these mosquitoes and not survive, you know, you have to worry about that,” said Roden.

Wayne Hines owns and operates the warehouse, as part of his business, Hines Tire Company.

“You can`t blame them, I mean West Nile is bad, it is bad, but we do keep our part controlled,” said Hines.

With complaints swarming along Hook and Fifth Street in Tuscumbia, residents are swatting at the chance for someone to take action.  So WHNT News 19 went to the City of Tuscumbia to find out what can be done when a private owner causes mosquito concerns for other residents.

“Our guys are right now, checking into this complaint,” said Tuscumbia mayor, Bill Shoemaker.  “I`ve talked to you less than an hour ago, and I`ve already got two people working on it and we`ll see that things are taken care of.”

According to Hines, he has receipts for every time he`s sprayed these tires with pesticides and Hines says even though there is some standing water in the bottom of these tires, he says every time he puts salt in them, it kills any mosquitoes that may be breeding.

“We don`t want to get eaten by no mosquitoes, no way.  We work here every day,” said Hines.

According to the Tuscumbia mayor, Hines seems to be following all the regulations set out by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

“A lot of your underbrush, that`s where mosquitoes come from.  You can go to Spring Park , you can go down there and sit there for an hour and they are gonna eat you up, there`s no tires in Spring Park, ok? So they are everywhere,” said Hines.

It's a small insect that stirs a big debate.  For now, the tires can stay, with a strong warning from the mayor for Hines to keep the standing water at a minimum in order to keep the mosquitoes maintained.

Friday afternoon, the Tuscumbia code enforcement officer and the street and sanitation director responded to the warehouse in question.

The mayor says crews have been spraying public areas to help keep mosquitoes in the city, under control.

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