Tangipahoa Parish works to clean up storm debris

TANGIPAHOA PARISH, LA (WAFB) - The clean up from Hurricane Isaac lingers throughout southeast Louisiana and in Tangipahoa Parish, crews are having to deal with some unexpected challenges.

Akers resident Donald Mince is in storm recovery mode and that equals one step at a time.

"Now that trash is gone, you don't have to look at it," Mince said. "Mentally, it's soothing."

For Tangipahoa Parish President Gordon Burgess and cleanup crews, that help has been a work in progress.

"I mean, that's our job is to help the people that need it," said Burgess.

Burgess estimates more than 50 truckloads a day of trash and debris are being taken to the parish landfill. Crews from the Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) have been tackling state right of ways.

"We still have a lot of debris we are picking up in the Ponchatoula area and as far up as Independence. We still have a long way to go but we're making progress," Burgess added.

The challenge of cleaning up the massive piles of storm debris in Tangipahoa Parish is being made more difficult by the fact that some residents from other parishes are bringing in more trash. It's a scenario Burgess says will not be tolerated.

"Would you please tell whoever is telling you to bring it in, tell them don't do it again because if it comes back again, then we are going to arrest someone. We don't want to do that but we can't take care of everyone's garbage," the parish president explained.

The parish certainly has taken care of residents like Mince, helping to make the difficult task of rebuilding just a little bit easier.

"You still have to go in and reconstruct, but once you get all the damage stuff out, you can see some light at the end of the tunnel," Mince said.

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