NewsRegion S Palm Beach CountyDelray Beach


Irma cleanup could take months, how to do your part

Posted at 11:43 PM, Sep 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-12 23:43:02-04

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. -- Cleanup after Hurricane Irma could take months, as a sight we're all too familiar with, giant piles of debris piled next to roads, are starting to pop up. 

So the questions are: when will it be picked up and how do you make sure its taken?

"That's about it, we'll just keep going and keep piling up," Delray Beach man, Alvin Brandes said, picking up debris at his home. "Basically this is what we do, we cut these up so we can drag them out."

Generators power their home for now.

"Once we get that done," he said, pointing to branches tangled with overhead power lines, "then we can call FPL. It'll be easier and it's safe for and they can turn the power back on for us and this street will be a happy street.

We met Alvin driving around with the debris expert for the city of Delray Beach, Joe Frantz.

"It might take us two months. It might take us a month," Frantz said of the cleanup. 

Early estimates in Delray are 120,000 cubic yards of debris. At a foot of depth, that'll cover around 74 acres.

"Here's a perfect case if that's not coming out tomorrow," Frantz  said, pointing to a rooted tree, split in half.

After clearing roads, contractors will then assess what's to be picked up, give a quote to the city, and then Delray will send it to FEMA, who will reimburse the work.

But here's the thing, it'll only be picked up if it's piled properly.

Anything storm related from twigs to trampolines, they'll take, as long as everything is separated into piles. 

"Folks have already done an outstanding job as far as getting stuff out and where it should be," Frantz said.

Bagged debris won't be picked up. 

"We hope to be starting to pick up debris Monday. That's our plan," he said. 

That'll allow enough time for people like Alvin to get everything by the road. 

"We went through the same exact situation with Hurricane Francis and there was a lot of old trees here and our street ended up like a one way street because there was so much debris piled out there," he said. 

This is the official FEMA flyer, which outlines the rules on where to put debris.