Crews still cleaning up after December storm

Wednesday, February 20th 2008, 7:03 pm
By: News 9

By Dave Jordan, NEWS 9

Two months after the ice storm knocked out power to thousands of homes and businesses, the remnants of the storm are still visible.

City workers had to bring in crews from two others states to remove tons of debris. Crews are hard at work removing heavy tree limbs that came crashing down last December.

Some of the areas in the metro are being cleaned up for the first time.

It's taking a little longer than expected because the city underestimated how much debris was left behind. Still, workers have removed most of it, but there's still a lot of work to do.

"It was significantly more than what we had initially estimated," Assistant Director/Oklahoma City Public Works, Paul Bronson said. "At the outset, when we threw the number out there, we thought there might be 50-60 thousand tons. And, now we're approaching 90 thousand tons."

Help came in the form of contracted crews from Missouri and North Carolina. According to the map of the routes to the right, all of the areas in the metro have already been cleared at least once. Crews had to work six days a week and are now making a return trip, removing additional debris.

"The sheer magnitude dictated that we at least give the citizens two opportunities to get their debris out," Bronson said.

Crews only made it to some areas of the city just last week for the first round of removal.

"There's still really some uncertainty about how much is left in those areas, so optimistically we would like to be done by the end of March," Bronson said.

As for the debris being cleared away, the city hopes to be done by the end of March.

The city says it's received a few complaints about cherry picking; that's when workers remove heavier debris because of the higher pay scale.

Bronson says they've issued a few warnings to crew members.