Debris from storm must be separated

Published 7:55 am Wednesday, September 13, 2017

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


While debris is piling up along the streets, residents are in need of keeping the pile separate and within ten feet of the street.

“Property owners will have to separate the debris so it can be picked up,” City Manager Dr. Shawn Oubre said during the Tuesday morning City Council meeting. “This service is only for residents, not non profit, for profit or businesses.”

The City of Orange will begin picking up damaged debris as soon as possible in areas within the City where homes were affected by the recent flooding due to Tropical Storm Harvey and flooding from the Sabine River.

Any flood related materials that citizens may want removed from the area must be separated into four distinct categories.  FEMA requirements for separation of debris and damaged material are as follows:

  • C&D Piles- construction and demolition materials
  • Green Waste Piles- tree limbs, branches and cuttings
  • White Goods- refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers, freezers, etc.
  • Hazardous Waste- paints, household chemicals, etc.

Council also approved entering into a debris monitoring services with GP Strategies Corporation as the primary contractor and Thompson Consulting Services LLC as the secondary.

Following the guidelines for debris placement and separation is also set to avoid blocking roads for those in need of emergency response.

Councilmember Terrie Salter asked if there was a way to notify citizens of which neighborhoods would have debris collection on which days.

“I am not sure we can notify,” Oubre said. “When collections begin, there will be over 100 trucks collecting throughout the city. I already see a lot of piles that will not get picked up.”

Oubre also said regular garbage collections were attempting to return to normal.

“They are trying to collect regular garbage as well,” Oubre told the council. “Their staff was displaced as well and addresses were blocked.”

The home occupant must transport the trash cart to the curb. If the cart is too heavy to move, some waste products must be removed. Please place the excess waste in a plastic bag. Extra trash stickers can be purchased for $1.50 each at City Hall.  The stickers should be put on one plastic bag of household garbage.

Following the recent disaster, the large volume of household trash is not allowing Waste Management crews to complete routes on scheduled days, if your cart has not been emptied on your regular scheduled day – please leave it at the curb until they can empty it, according to the city’s official website.

The removal of debris from commercial property and the demolition of commercial structures are generally not eligible for Public Assistance grant funding. It is assumed and expected that these commercial enterprises retain insurance that can and will cover the cost of debris removal and/or demolition. However, in some cases as determined by the FCO, the removal of debris from private commercial property and/or the demolition of private commercial structures by a State or local government may be eligible for FEMA reimbursement only when such removal is in the public interest.

Council also approved the use of recreational vehicles and travel trailers as homeowners work on the needed repairs for a period of one year.

Council member Annette Pernell was concerned the suggested six month time period would make some residents feel rushed and possibly be taken advantage of as they working on recovery from TS Harvey.

Council member Terrie Salter agreed.

“Six month may force people to get someone,” Pernell said. “We are not the only ones going through it. I know we had people trying to schist us on our front steps.”

Residents will need to acquire a voluntary permit for the temporary housing.

The permit will also require the units to hook up to the water and sewer systems.

“There are so many still not able to tear out yet,” Pernell said. “I spoke to a lady yesterday who still had water in her home.”

Permits required for repairs due to Hurricane Harvey will also be waived for a period of 90 days. The council will revisit the matter at that time to determine if it needs to be extended.