LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — It’s slow-going for storm debris removal in Lafayette Parish nearly one month since Hurricane Laura swept through.
There are two challenges for lafayette parish — they underestimated how much storm debris is out there, and there’s competition for debris hauling trucks from all the work contractors can get in Lake Charles.
Hurricane laura produced 26,000 cubic yards of vegetative storm debris in Lafayette Parish. It’s being collected and brought to this composting site off Malapart road.
“The timetable we agreed to was based on the early assessments,” said Lafayette Public Works Director Chad Nepveaux. “Obviously, with the higher volumes out there, it’s going to take longer to pick things up.”
We drove around Lafayette and found several streets with storm debris piles that have been sitting on the side of the road for the past month. You can tell because the branches are dry and the leaves are brown. On one street — in River Bend Estates off Camelia boulevard — we found a few debris piles about five feet high. And there were debris piles in front of nearly every house in this section of Dafney street. Nepveaux says they’ve gotten a few complaints about the debris removal taking too long, but he said people need to be patient.
“We can’t be in all places at the same time,” he said. “I can’t miss the opportunity to say, a lot of the guys in this business, the energy is focused on Lake Charles, that got really devastated. Florida got hit. A lot of the guys in this business tend to be pulled to those heavily damaged areas. We’re having problems getting our truck count up, due to the competition for these trucks. “
The parish is divided into 18 pick up zones. Debris clearing is complete in four of them. LCG says there will be two final passes, and there will be seven crews doing the work. At this point, the storm debris removal is a little more than halfway finished.
The price tag for this storm debris removal is $250,000. Lafayette parish hopes most of the cost will be reimbursed by FEMA.