WALKER — City workers collected nearly 1,400 cubic yards of storm debris from 625 homes and made good use of most of it, Mayor Bobby Font said Tuesday.
Workers delivered the Hurricane Isaac debris to Sidney Hutchinson Park, where most of it was chipped to be used in city landscaping jobs, but some will have to be burned, Font said.
The city has completed two rounds of debris pickup and will conduct a final round in two to three weeks. For that phase, city workers will service areas where people have called the city to report they have piles of debris, rather than covering every house, he said.
“We have spent under $100,000 to this point,” Font said, adding the cost is a lot less than it would have been if the city had hired a debris-removal contractor.
Had the storm caused a lot more tree damage, the city would have had to hire a contractor, since the city’s Department of Public Works has only 22 employees, he said.
Hurricane Isaac caused a lot less wind damage and more water damage than Hurricane Gustav, Font said. In less than four days, 16.5 inches of rain fell on the city, he said. About a dozen residents reported flooding as a result, he said.
City workers also helped with regular garbage collection routes after the garbage contractor, Waste Management, had to cancel its usual Thursday pickup because of the storm, Font said.
He said the company wasn’t able to pick up until the following Thursday because of other commitments.
Font had told the City Council during its regular meeting Monday night that city workers collected 38 tons of household garbage following the storm because of Waste Management’s inability to perform routine trash pickups.
Font said city employees also placed dumpsters throughout Walker to provide residents a place to dispose of excess garbage.
The city gave out 1,000 sandbags, half of which were filled by Department of Public Works employees, Font said.
Walker’s Facebook page reached more than 26,000 people during the week of the storm, Font told the council.