AUSTIN (KXAN) – All across Austin, tree branches are scattered along roads, yards and neighborhoods. In a press conference Tuesday, the city said it’s dealing with thousands upon thousands of requests to clear debris.
What is the city’s cleanup process?
The city said close to 200 employees from the Public Works and Parks and Recreation departments were clearing the public right of way of downed trees and debris.
They are using a “grid system approach” to confirm debris has been cleared.
“Teams are assigned to specific sectors of the city to clear obstructions and confirm when their assigned area has been cleared for mobility,” according to a press release.
Austin Resource Recovery is another department tasked with cleaning up debris. Deputy Director Richard McHale said, as of Tuesday, it had more than 13,000 service orders.
“Just alone, our contractors picked up 1,000 tons of material yesterday,” McHale said.
They decide which neighborhoods to go to based on the volume of requests. “What we basically do is kind of triage the situation, see where most of them are,” McHale said.
Where are a majority of debris requests?
A lot more people west of Interstate 35 have been asking for help picking up their tree limbs, according to data provided by the city.
“So majority of the service orders are in west Austin. So a lot of our resources are there, but there’s damage all over the city. So we have crews in east Austin, north Austin, south Austin,” McHale said.
How long will cleanup take?
McHale said its difficult to estimate when someone’s debris will be picked up, but he expects this to take more than just a few weeks.
“We’re hoping we can do a first pass of every citizen, every resident of the city, within the month. But we’re expecting this to be a multi-month ordeal,” McHale said.
There’s no way for people to know when their neighborhood may be next.
Nick Gonzalez is one of thousands waiting for his debris to be picked up. He said he’ll be patient through this process.
“I’m in no rush. It’s here. It’s not going to go anywhere. And you know, I’m sure they’re backlogged throughout Austin,” Gonzalez said.