Crews began picking up debris Tuesday from homes and businesses in St. Tammany Parish that were flooded last week when rivers on both sides of the parish pushed over their banks following torrential rainfall.

Amy Bouton, a parish spokeswoman, said it was too early to say how much debris was picked up on the first day.

The parish said 718 structures were damaged in the flood. Most, 673, were in western St. Tammany, where flash floods caused water to rise rapidly on small rivers March 11 and 12.

In eastern St. Tammany, where the West Pearl River’s slower rise affected the town of Pearl River and the Military Road area near Slidell, about 45 structures were damaged.

The parish has not said how long debris pickup will continue. Crews are beginning on the west side of the parish and will work toward the east.

Only flood-related debris will be picked up, and it should be placed at the edge of the property line next to the curb. Residents should not block the roadway or stack or lean debris on trees, poles or other structures.

Debris should not be bagged, and residents should separate it into these categories: vegetative debris, construction and demolition debris, appliances and white goods, electronics and household hazardous waste.

Information on disaster services, including filing flood insurance claims and contacting FEMA and the Small Business Administration, is available on the parish website at

Follow Sara Pagones on Twitter, @spagonesadvocat.