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Debris piles getting big at collection sites around Omaha

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 3:11 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Truck after truck filed into Levi Carter Park packed with debris, ready to load onto the growing pile.

Charles Taylor came up from Pensacola, Florida.

”Helping my friend with his yard. Helping them out.”

He’s used to this kind of cleanup from years of weathering hurricanes. Even with that experience, the damage is still shocking.

”He got a big ol’ tree in his yard. Bigger than his house. Tree limbs blocking the whole driveway.”

Right now, they’re not sure when they’ll get that tree taken care of. Tree removal contractors like Dominic Mendolia understand the frustration but ask for patience.

”We’ll get to ya when we can get to ya. That’s all we can do. We’re doing emergencies right now and then yard stuff.”

He’s working to help larger contractors now, just trying to help during people’s time of need.

“What you’re seeing is just to get people up and running, we haven’t even got to clean clean our yards yet.”

Originally the city had six collections sites open. Two closed because they reached capacity but four others including this one in Levi Carter Park, have plenty of space and will stay open until Saturday.

Mendolia doesn’t think that will be long enough.

”Probably going to take a couple of weeks to clean this up. People don’t realize how much damage there is.”

He says more branches and limbs that aren’t fully attached but still lodged in treetops will fall when we get more rain.

“We’ll be working for about a month just after this storm and they’re talking some rainstorms throughout the week, so I think you’ll see some more crazy stuff.”

Once the collection sites close, an official with the City of Omaha says the debris will be ground into mulch. Much like they do with Christmas tree collections.

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