Collection of storm debris from Hurricane Isaac continues in East Baton Rouge Parish, with the first round finishing up while the second round begins Monday, city-parish officials said.
The contractor will start the second pass along areas where debris has been set out since the first pickup, said Department of Public Works Interim Director David Guillory.
With an initial estimate of 200,000 cubic yards of material to be picked up after the storm, the contractors have collected about 190,000 cubic yards as of Friday, he said. That’s about 95 percent complete, he said.
“By the end of next week and into the weekend, we’ll be wrapping up,” Guillory said.
Some areas where the contractor continues to work include White Oak, Shenandoah, Southdowns and some areas in the northern part of the parish, Guillory said. Although there were some calls last week from people asking “Did you forget about us?” Guillory said, there are still about 25 trucks working to pick up storm debris.
“Most of the stuff in the second pass will be in areas where we started,” he said. Also, staff will be driving across the parish looking for other areas where additional storm debris has been placed for pickup. This second pass through the parish should take about seven to 10 days, Guillory said.
“The damage, although severe, wasn’t a Gustav,” said Bob Hearn, DPW environmental engineer, referring to the 2008 Hurricane Gustav, which caused widespread damage in East Baton Rouge Parish and elsewhere.
As far as Isaac debris, Hearn said, there are still some neighborhoods that have vegetative debris to be picked up.
The first pass of debris pickup concentrated on vegetative debris such as downed trees and limbs. Although some people have placed this debris in garbage bags for pickup, those will be taken up during the second pass by debris haulers, Hearn said.
“That’s the main thing I’m getting calls on now: When are my black bags getting picked up,” Hearn said.
He urges residents to separate tree debris from other debris because tree debris can be recycled if it’s not mixed in with other waste.
Guillory said the entire cleanup should be complete before the middle of October.
“We started immediately after the storm and it’s worked out well,” Guillory said. “We thank everyone for their patience.”