By David J. Mitchell
River Parishes bureau
September 25, 2012
GONZALES — Nearly two weeks into hurricane debris removal in Ascension Parish, parish government and its trash contractor have picked up 65 percent of the Hurricane Isaac debris set out for the first of two expected passes, parish officials said.
Debris collection began Sept. 10. Lester Kenyon, parish government spokesman, said Friday that debris pickup has already occurred in the heaviest-hit areas, including the northern end of Ascension and the Sorrento area.
Officials focused on those areas for the first pass, which was for vegetative debris only.
Kenyon said the collection effort has been going well so far and has prompted compliments from residents about the contractor’s quick response time in answering questions.
“It has been really good. From what I understand, it is a good crew working, and work is getting done. We appreciate the people’s patience,” Kenyon said.
By Thursday, 16,472 cubic yards of debris were picked up by the parish Department of Public Works and debris contractor DRC, Kenyon said.
DRC picked up the vast majority of the debris at 15,615 cubic feet; parish DPW handled the remainder.
Kenyon said DRC officials think they have another 9,000 to 10,000 cubic feet of material left to retrieve.
Debris is being hauled to the parish-owned Lamar-Dixon Expo Center near Gonzales, where the collected material will be chipped up, Kenyon said.
Kenyon said four DRC crews are working through the parish and moving more quickly than early on because there is not as much debris as during the first few days.
Kenyon noted the collection figure of 65 percent does not match the amount of parish territory where debris has been removed. The areas left have less debris than the heavier hit areas where collection happened first.
Over the past two weeks, a running debris removal map on the parish government website has been used to show where pickup has been completed and where it was under way.
On Friday, the online map showed that the Galvez, eastern La. 42, Bluff Road, Dutchtown, Donaldsonville, Aben and Lemannville areas were in progress for debris collection.
Parish officials have warned residents to have their vegetative debris out and not to wait for crews to be in their area. Vegetative debris collection is expected to stop by the end of this month.
On Friday, Kenyon said the second pass is expected to start around Sept. 29 and run through Oct. 5. Officials have said the second pass has been set aside for storm construction and demolition debris.
The online debris map is located at http://maps.apgov.us/. Click on the map labeled “Isaac Debris Removal.”