As St. John the Baptist Parish works to recover from Hurricane Isaac, debris collection is nearing completion, and residents are beginning the rebuilding process as they continue to return to their homes.
Since initiating storm related debris removal efforts on Sept. 4, an estimated 92 percent of the debris has been collected throughout the parish, and plans are under way to phase out debris removal over the next couple weeks.
During the final phase of the program, private property debris removal will proceed with properties inspected and approved by FEMA at my request. Residents continuing to clean their property are discouraged from placing debris near water meters, fire hydrants and utility lines to ensure collection runs smoothly.
We want to clean up the neighborhoods in a timely fashion; therefore, residents are encouraged to clean out their homes and place all debris curbside. The Public Works Department is also asking residents to assist the parish with the final clean up by raking small pieces of debris into piles and placing it in bags.
Our parish has developed a phase-out plan for debris removal, and residents are asked to make every effort to clean out and gut their property over the next two weeks. If assistance is needed, residents are asked to contact the “Volunteer Hotline” at 985-359-0254, Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m to 3 p.m.
On Oct. 15, the final phase of storm related debris removal will be initiated, and beginning Oct. 22, collection will be on an as-needed basis or by request. With most of the debris already collected and only scattered piles of debris remaining, residents should contact debris contractor DRC’s hotline at 504-256-1067 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to request pick-up.
We have worked hard to expedite the debris removal process but understand that every resident may not have completed work on his or her homes by Oct. 22. We encourage residents to put out bulk items for removal while the program is active so rebuilding efforts can begin, but we will not stop until all debris is removed.
DEBRIS REMOVAL REMINDERS:
• Debris must continue to be separated into vegetative (organic, trees, shrubs, stumps, etc.), construction and demolition (any treated wood or lumber drywall, roofing materials), white goods (refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers), and household hazardous waste and e-waste (computers, televisions, etc.).
• Do not place debris near mailboxes, utility boxes, utility poles, water meters or fire hydrants.
• Do not place piles next to fences or cars.
• Do not place material for pick-up under low wires or overhanging tree limbs. Debris loaders cannot maneuver the collection arm safely under low-hanging objects
• Consider placing debris piles on an old sheet of plywood or other similar material to minimize damage to lawns by the debris loader
• New construction debris is not eligible for pick-up. Contractors are responsible for removal of new construction debris.