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Storm debris removal coming to an end

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader

 

As residents continue to move forward after the devastating storm, Hurricane Harvey, the City of Orange is also faced with deadlines for reimbursement funding from FEMA for storm debris removal.

During the Tuesday city council meeting, Council was asked to consider using grapple trucks and continuing the collection. The contractor the city was using has since lost drivers who moved on to the next disaster area.

“We asked the county to come in and assist, but we were told no,” City Manager Dr. Shawn Oubre said. “FEMA will only reimburse for six months after the storm.”

A grapple truck will pick up one pass of eligible debris.

Any flood related materials that citizens may want removed from the area must be separated into four distinct categories and placed curbside within 10 feet of the right-of-way no later than February 1, 2018, according to a press release.

Debris removal by the City of Orange will end February 23.

FEMA requirements for separation of debris and damaged material are as follows:

  • C&D Piles- demolition materials
    • Green Waste Piles- tree limbs, branches and cuttings
    • White Goods- refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers, freezers, etc.
    • Hazardous Waste- paints, household chemicals, etc.
    Citizens are asked to only place flood damaged materials curbside for pick-up. Contractors and/or homeowners are solely responsible for the disposal of new construction debris.

“Grapple trucks can only do one house at a time,” Councilmember Larry Spears Jr. said. “It is going to take a while.”

Oubre said the city has received calls from non-impacted areas.

“Eventually we must return to normal standards,” Oubre said.

Council member Patrick Pullen asked about debris along Main Street.

“I don’t understand why it has not been picked up along Main Street,” Pullen said.

Oubre said he was familiar with the situation.

“The contractor was not picking it up and it is one thing we need to deal with, “ Oubre said.