October 09, 2008
Mighty big pile of debris you've (still) got there

Still a lot of debris to be dealt with.

More than a third of the heaping piles of debris in front of Houston households have yet to be touched by the army of laborers tasked with cleaning them up, and may not be for at least another week.

Solid waste officials and contractors say the process has taken a few days more than originally envisioned because they have moved more than twice the expected amount of felled trees and other detritus shaken loose in Hurricane Ike.

The total volume in the city and county is staggering, possibly as high as 12 million cubic yards, or enough to fill up the Astrodome more than six times, according to city and county officials.

Again with the football-related metrics, though I note we've shifted from two dimensions to three. What comes next in the progression from field to stadium?

And costs could exceed $200 million, as much as 50 percent more than what local officials originally set aside. At least three-fourths of that is expected to be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, officials said.

In Houston, contract workers have made a first pass by 65 percent of homes, meaning they have picked up some debris with an intent to come back. Although contracting officials originally projected they would have reached every home by Oct. 14, they now say it will not be until Oct. 18. They have yet to set a goal for when they will return to pick up debris that remained after the first pickup.

They came through my neighborhood over the weekend and cleared out most of the stuff on the streets. There's still some stuff left, but it's largely back to normal. I'm hoping this means we'll get back to curbside recycling pickup soon. Even with this small setback, I think the city has done an amazing job with this. How is it where you live?

Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 09, 2008 to Hurricane Katrina

They came with big trucks and scoops and took about half of each pile. Weird. Seems to me once you've go the heavy equipment you'd just take everything - more efficient, right? - but no. There may be some good reason for this but it does seem odd.

Posted by: John on October 9, 2008 6:48 AM
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