Weeks after turbulent storms blew through the parish, city-parish workers are still cleaning up storm debris in the southeast part of East Baton Rouge Parish.
More than 800 tons of tree limbs and other storm debris have been collected in the wake of a couple hard-hitting storms earlier this month, said acting Department of Public Works Director William Daniel.
The southeast part of the parish, including the neighborhoods of Shenandoah, White Oak subdivision and Hickory Ridge subdivision, took the brunt of the storm damage, Daniel said.
The damage was bad enough that the city-parish hired a hurricane debris contractor, DRC Emergency Services, to assist with the cleanup and disposal effort.
Daniel estimates the city-parish spent about $75,000 on storm cleanup — a cost he said will be absorbed by the DPW budget.
“It was unexpected,” he said. “However, we expect the unexpected.”
Jonathan Simmons, a homeowner in Shenandoah neighborhood, said he was visiting relatives in Central the night of one of the big storms.
“We came home and it looked like it does after a hurricane,” Simmons said.
He said most homes in his neighborhood had fallen limbs in the lawns and some trees had been knocked down.
Simmons said the city-parish is generally quick about picking up storm debris once it’s piled up by the homeowners.
“This time it took at least a week and a half,” he said.
Daniel said the amount of debris prolonged the clean-up effort to some extent.
“The mayor was insistent we pick up the debris as quickly as possible to avoid any additional burden on homeowners,” Daniel said. “However, it still took a considerable amount of time to get all the debris.”
He said to keep costs down, the city-parish also allowed some of the burden to fall on to the normal routes of Allied Waste, which is already under contract for waste clean up for the city-parish.
He said the clean-up effort started June 10 and wrapped up Thursday. He added there are still some minor piles of debris that will be collected by Allied Waste.
Short of an actual hurricane, homeowners are expected to pick up debris and cut down trees for the city-parish to pick up, Daniel said.
During a hurricane, the city-parish is reimbursed for recovery and therefore provides assistance for all debris clean up.