As I watched a crew remove vegetation debris today in Palmetto Bay, it occurred to me that the logistics and planning challenges of cleanup must be a nightmare.
I stopped one of the Palmetto Bay supervisors and learned a lot. First, that Irma created more debris than any hurricane going back to 1960, when he first started working on projects like this.
The fact that Irma was so large and moved so slowly means foliage across all of Florida took a huge beating for 16 hours straight.
Normally, all our debris would be hauled to Central Florida and sent to companies for chipping into saleable mulch. This time around those companies are refusing to receive materials because they are already overflowing with all they can handle.
The local landfills were used for the first few days after Irma, but those are also full. So new, creative solutions are being devised.
For Palmetto Bay, all natural debris is being trucked to Coral Reef Park awaiting a massive mobile chipping machine. Then that mulch will used in our Parks and perhaps offered to residents.
I also learned that the pickup crews only have equipment that reaches as far as the easement and any debris deeper than that will not get picked up.
Municipalities are trying their best to clear everything but won't risk putting any equipment on someone's property for fear of doing damage.
Also, crews are out to get the bulky stuff only. They won't rake up the leaves. So don't expect perfection.