AUSTIN (KXAN) – Though the weather has warmed since last week’s winter storm, Austin and Travis County have not recovered. There are still thousands without power, and because heavy ice knocked down an unprecedented number of trees and branches, there is still much storm debris along roads and in people’s yards to be cleared.
Austin Resource Recovery said it will pick up customers’ debris if they prepare it, leave it on their curb, and then call 3-1-1. But following these steps for Ausinites with physical disabilities would be exceedingly difficult, if not impossible. Fortunately, an Austin organization is helping people with physical and financial needs remove the fallen debris.
The Austin Disaster Relief Network is comprised of over 200 local churches and organizations with a mission of supporting people physically, emotionally and spiritually through disasters. Stephen Brewer, the organization’s associate director, said the organization’s primary goal following the ice storm is on debris cleanup. So far, it has received over 1,500 requests since the storm swept through.
“Our approach is to identify specifically those with limitations– whether it be financial or physical – and to be able to help resource those individuals with volunteer assistance,” Brewer said.
“Our heart is to respond to that need as quickly as [can]. But as one could imagine, it may take several weeks to ultimately be able to fulfill all the requests that have come in,” he continued.
Brewer said his organization has partnered with the City of Austin to offer assistance to people with elevated needs. Austin Public Works confirmed residents with physical limitations or financial needs should reach out to the Austin Disaster Relief Network for support with debris clean up.
“Our hearts are heavy with those who have been impacted across our community,” Brewer said. “We will continue to give our strength in our efforts to help mobilize the volunteers needed to help…as well as pray for those who have been impacted.”
Those who would like assistance from the Austin Disaster Relief Network can submit a request here.