Plano ice storm clean up could stretch into February

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by JOBIN PANICKER

WFAA

Posted on December 27, 2013 at 3:23 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 27 at 3:23 PM

PLANO, Texas -- It is a common sight throughout North Texas neighborhoods, but specifically in Plano; piles of splintered tree limbs and leaves laid across front yards and sidewalks.

On Thursday, Plano Environmental Waste crews spent time in one neighborhood picking up what Mother Nature tore down.

"This is the worst winter storm we've had in over ten years," said Robert Smouse, Plano's sustainability and environmental services manager.

There are more than 700 work orders in place for the city three weeks after a nasty ice storm tore through North Texas. It has work crews working two extra days a week and longer hours.

One of the stops on Thursday was right in front of Alex Montoya's parents home.

"You see debris everywhere, and you just wonder when it's going to be picked up," Montoya said.

At this rate, Plano says it will take a while before it can get to all the work orders. It could even delay regular Christmas tree pickups.

Smouse said the priority right now is to clean up whatever they can the "first go-around."

"There's going to be a residual individual piles going into February... maybe even March," Smouse said.

He said people don't realize how badly Plano was hit, and asked for patience from residents as they try to cover as much ground as possible each day.

One map provided to News 8 show where the work orders are coming from. The highest concentration of downed trees and limbs came down in the central corridor of the city. All the waste is going to a grinding site on Custer Road, and from there, it will be taken to a compost operation in Melissa.

"The biggest question we cannot answer is a specific date," Smouse said. "A lot of residents want to know 'When is my material going to be picked up?'"

The waste division has even enlisted help from other departments, like parks and recreation using its chipper crews to help cut down the street piles.

For more information on storm damage collection in Plano, check out this link.

E-mail jpanicker@wfaa.com

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