City of Raleigh not picking up all debris

Storm debris from a tornado (Jim R. Bounds)

April 28, 2011 8:40:11 PM PDT
City and state crews are working to get most of the storm debris cleaned up, but they won't be picking up everything.

Chris McGee, Raleigh street superintendent, says crews have been working around the clock cleaning up after the April 16 storm. He says crews have been to all of the hardest hit areas, including Serendipity Drive, to remove only tree debris.

"Look everywhere, I mean, we look like we're in a war zone," Raleigh resident Issa Salman said.

Nearly two weeks after a twister tore up Serendipity Dr.; pile after pile of mostly building debris lines the road. Its debris Salman thought either the state or the city was eventually going to haul away.

"We thought like, you know, they're busy and our turn is gonna come," Salman said. "So, I was kind of shocked when I found out today that they're not gonna come and now we have to clean that."

It turns out the NC DOT has paired with Wake County to pick up both tree debris and building materials on state maintained roads. A spokesperson with the DOT tells ABC11 Eyewitness News Serendipity Dr. is a private road falling under the jurisdiction of the city.

The problem is the City of Raleigh says it can't pick up building debris from Serendipity.

"The City of Raleigh is only removing woody, vegetative debris," McGee said. "We are not removing any construction debris."

Then what about debris on roads like the one in the Fields of the Broadlands neighborhood where large piles of tree limbs are setting?

"Right now, we're not picking up vegetative debris on private streets," McGee said.

He says that's because the City of Raleigh is waiting for approval from FEMA to get to work.

"As soon as FEMA says go, we'll roll into private streets," he added.

That's good news for residents like Brian Fulcher, who says the piles have been a nuisance.

"We've just had to take a little extra care," Fulcher said. "As long as the city gets to it eventually, I think we would all be satisfied."

The city plans to hit the Serendipity area again to pick up remaining debris. Salman wishes city crews would do more.

"If they're coming to pick trees, why won't they pick up the rest of the stuff?" Salman asked. "That makes no sense."

It will be up to the homeowners to figure out how to get their debris to one of the waste removal sites in the county. Homeowners are trying to see if they can get help from their insurance companies or their HOA.

Meanwhile, if you have tree debris on your property, make sure you move it to the curb within the next few days so city crews can haul it away.

If you have questions about debris removal in your neighborhood, call 919-996-6446.

For more information about the City of Raleigh's cleanup efforts and a list of Wake County's disposal sites, click here.

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