Omaha city crews added to curbside debris pickup

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 5:26 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The city tries to put a dent in all the piles of curbside debris. The hurricane-force winds from last week brought down so many trees, it’s possible the process to pick them up may take longer than a week.

What’s striking is how homeowners have been hauling debris to several dump sites for more than a week. Football fields of limbs and branches and yet, it doesn’t seem to have put a dent in what is still all over town.

Normally this Omaha street maintenance crew would be filling potholes. Not today, this week they’re working on debris duty.

Collecting and picking up bigger branches that are too much to handle for many homeowners. It’s slow going at 88th and Harney.

Around every corner, there’s another large pile. The dump trucks fill up quickly and then, they haul it to the 156th and F dump site that’s nine miles away.

In some cases, the trees that fell in the street are so large, crews break out the chainsaws to make it more manageable.

“Some areas got hit worse than others. Our four houses were just obliterated,” said Bonnie Gill, Manhart of Omaha.

South of downtown, a bigger show of manpower. A convoy of dump trucks and loaders make quick work of some neighborhoods.

Sometimes it takes a bit of an elaborate dance between machinery to remove the last scraps of storm damage from the street.

The neighbors say they’re grateful for the help from the city since it’s too much for them and too big for the trash hauler to grab on garbage day.

Considering more people than ever lost power in Omaha from the hurricane-force winds a week ago, some neighbors say it’s remarkable that any place looks like it’s back to normal.

“Be patient. I’ve watched it every step of the way.”

Around 150 city employees will be collecting the curbside debris through Friday. A spokesperson for the mayor says they’ll reaccess the progress in a couple of days and go from there as to whether they’ll be able to get the job done in a week.

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