The monumental task of removing flood debris across the Houston area is ongoing.
A pile in Bellaire has gotten so big, the city had to find a second dump site.
“I think those are people’s belongings and couches and people’s lives up there,” said Nancy Dufek. “And it’s sad.”
Dufek and her coworkers have watched the pile grow from their office across the street.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said Laura Milliron. “Amazing that there’s that much stuff out there.”
According to the City of Bellaire, the massive trash heap is eventually headed to a larger landfill. The problem right now is that the so-called staging site is overwhelmed, so the city secured a second location farther away.
In fact, it’s outside the city limits. That means residents, like retired neurologist Gage Van Horn, may have to wait longer for individual piles to get picked up. The one in front of his home includes cabinets he made when he was a resident physician.
“But they’re so mildewed and torn up now,” Van Horn said.
Most of the homes on his block suffered flood damage. Some neighbors have taken care of debris themselves over the last three weeks.
“But they hired someone privately to pick it all up,” Van Horn said. “I’m not going to do that. Hopefully the city will get it soon.”
The city says the staging sites are vital parts of the process because debris must be compacted before going to a landfill.
“How long is it going to stay here?” Dufek said. “It might smell after awhile.”
The City of Bellaire says information regarding when debris will be removed from specific areas is forthcoming. But, like in Houston and elsewhere, tons of debris has been picked up and piled up.