Debris cleanup underway: What you need to know

As flood waters start to go down, clean up continues across the Houston area.

KINGWOOD, Texas -- Out-of-town help is on the way to assist communities dealing with massive debris removal efforts following Harvey's flooding.

San Antonio sent several dozen solid waste removal trucks, cherry pickers, workers and other equipment. They started in the Kingwood community after 7 a.m. Monday.

Sparky Nolan's home was one of the first ones cleaned up.

"The spirit of Texas is alive here in Houston, and we love you San Antonio," Nolan said.

Daryl Palmer heads up the "Kingwood Relief" effort that's organized through a channel on the Zello app. He was in the Fosters Mill neighborhood to help direct traffic and remind people not to leave parked cars on the streets or block any access to the debris removal trucks.

"We just want to help all we can," Palmer said. He's working with area churches on other relief efforts as well.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner expects crews to remove 8 million cubic yards of material. That's equivalent to what would fit in nearly 2,500 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Thanks to the federal disaster declaration, FEMA will cover 90% of the debris removal costs.

It's important to make sure vehicles are not blocking the debris or in the way of the large trash removal trucks. Houston officials said if crews cannot maneuver through a neighborhood, they'll have to go onto the next.

Affected homeowners are reminded to keep debris at least 10 feet from their houses and to place it right at the curb; however, make sure not to block fire hydrants, utility meters, mailboxes and other structures.

FEMA said debris should be separated into 6 different categories:

*Regular garbage - food, packaging, paper (put this in normal containers)
*Building materials/furniture - drywall, carpeting, mattresses
*Hazardous household waste - batteries, paint, cleaning supplies
*Big appliances - refrigerators, washers, dryers
*Yard waste - leaves, branches (do not bag)
*Electronics - computers, TVs

You can learn more at http://www.facebook.com/houstonsolidwaste or www.houstonsolidwaste.org.

If you live outside the city, check with your local municipality or county for specific details on debris removal.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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