Holt: Storm debris cleanup expected to take months

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Leaders in Oklahoma City say they have a major task on their hands as work begins to start cleanup after an early ice storm.

Right now, the city is processing an emergency contract for debris removal that should be finalized in mid-November.

City leaders say debris pickup should begin before Thanksgiving, which gives residents time to get their trees and limbs to the curb.

“It’s a monumental task. I drove around last night and we’ve still go, you know, a lot of lane blockages across the city, even in arterial, with trees that are downed, so that’s gonna be our first priority today. Hopefully, we can get it done today and it’s not, you know, quickly thereafter. But we’ve got to get these roadways clear of tree branches, especially along the arterials. So that’s the first job and then we’ll begin in probably a few weeks begin picking up limbs from homes. If you stack them near the curb like you would with your bulk trash, keep it separate from your bulk trash, and make sure the limbs are shorter than 10-feet. We’re gonna pick those us, but I do want to tell you, it’s going to take months. I mean, it is a monumental task. I just stacked the limbs in my front yard yesterday, and I looked at that pile and I thought that would take 30 minutes for a crew to put that into the back of a truck. Just that one pile and then extrapolate that across the whole city of 650,000, we’re going to need some patience. It’s going to take months to pick up all these branches,” said Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt.

Due to the magnitude of the storm damage, officials say it will take months to remove storm debris from neighborhoods.

To prepare debris for removal:

  • Set trees and limbs at the curb in a separate pile from regular bulky waste like furniture, carpeting or appliances. The City will not pick up storm debris if it’s mixed with your regular bulky waste.
  • Cut tree limbs and logs into sections 10 feet long or shorter.
  • Leaves can be bagged and put into your Big Blue trash carts for weekly pick-up.
  • Avoid stacking debris near obstructions like poles, mailboxes and trees.

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