Debris Lingers Weeks After North Texas Storm

The cleanup continues nearly three weeks after an early October storm swept through North Texas, knocking out power to thousands and downing trees and limbs at a rate approaching that of the ice storm from December 2013.

"I think this storm, at the end of the day, will be similar to that storm in terms of tonnage," said Kelly High, director of sanitation for the city of Dallas.

High said Monday that his crews have been working 12-hour days, six to seven days a week, since Oct. 2 when a powerful squall tore through the metroplex.

In addition to the regular dumping sites for storm debris in the city, Dallas has opened a temporary site, off Plano Road and northeast of Interstate 635, where sanitation workers and private contractors can take downed trees and fallen tree limbs to be ground into sawdust.

Bulk trash pickup in the city is done all month on a rotating basis, depending upon where one lives in the city.

As it turns out, the areas hardest hit by the early October storm are in Northeast Dallas, which are largely slated to have bulk pickup done during the third and fourth weeks of the month.

"I understand when those piles are sitting in front of your house it doesn't seem like we're doing much, but I assure you we're working very hard," High said.

It is a similar scene in some Fort Worth neighborhoods, where piles of limbs and brush built up along the curbs.

In east Fort Worth, the White Lake Hills neighborhood was scheduled to have its bulk trash and storm debris hauled off last week, between Oct. 13 and 17.

"[But] here it is," said Rich Fox, of the debris pile still sitting at the edge of his property. "One neighbor got hers picked up, but everybody else, there's a few more houses where I still see brush."

A special section on the city of Fort Worth website's home page is dedicated to "Storm Cleanup." In that section, it states that the city is "making collection of tree and yard debris a priority."

The site makes mention of piles "roughly the size of a Volkswagon Bug" requiring a phone call to the city so as to allow a better understanding of the collection needs.

In Arlington, sanitation workers are trying to keep up with what has become a demanding schedule since the storm hit, according to Reggie Lewis, with the city of Arlington's office of communications.

A concern for the workers has been the size of many of the individual debris piles, Lewis said, which are to be no more than four feet tall.

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