Central residents frustrated with slow debris removal after Barry; mayor working toward solution

Central residents frustrated with slow debris removal after Barry; mayor working toward solution
Residents are frustrated with storm debris lining the streets in Central weeks after Hurricane Barry hit Louisiana.

CENTRAL, La. (WAFB) - It's been more than a month since Hurricane Barry hit Louisiana, and if you still have debris or tree limbs in the front of your home, you're not alone.

Central residents boiling over with anger as debris from Barry sits

It’s been a slow pickup process for many living in East Baton Rouge Parish and the folks who live in Central. Leftover hurricane debris is an eyesore for many in the city.

However, slowly but surely, help may finally be on the way.

If you drive around the Comite Hills Subdivision in Central, you can see tree limbs and storm debris lining the streets.

“We’re concerned, but hopefully it’ll be done soon,” said Bob McMullen.

McMullen lives on Frontier Street and says the debris in his yard has been building up for quite some time.

“They say some of it is from Barry, but most of it is from cuttings that I put out before Barry came. So, it’s been here about 6 weeks,” McMullen said.

Some people believe that debris should be picked up regularly by their garbage collection. However, with so much debris from Barry, both the City of Central and the City-Parish of East Baton Rouge had to call in some extra help.

“Republic picked up what they can, but since Baton Rouge activated their contract we’re going to activate ours and try to go within the next few days and pick up a lot of these small piles that are from the storm debris,” said Central Mayor David Barrow.

Central hired DRC Emergency Services (DRC) as their contractor to pick up the debris left from the storm. However, the mayor says most of the calls they’ve gotten about debris, aren’t even related to the storm, like a pile near Michael Wilkins’ home.

“This has been out here for a couple of weeks now. It’s only one limb, few little pieces,” said Wilkins.

Wilkins says Republic actually made a pass in front of his home before the storm hit, but he’s now anxious for his regular pickups to continue.

“As long as they don’t ignore it indefinitely, you know it’s not a problem for me,” said Wilkins.

“We’re not picking up new fresh piles, or things that people just decided to clean around their yard, or any other loose items like that,” said Mayor Barrow.

The pickup will begin this week, and could take a little time.

“Give us the patience, it should be a week or so. Like I said, we’re picking up the storm debris. If it’s regular debris that’s not getting picked up, you need to call 311 (Republic number),” said Mayor Barrow.

In regards to East Baton Rouge Parish, a spokesperson says over the past 3 weeks, DRC has collected 29,238 cubic yards of Barry debris, or 627 truck loads.

“It’s estimated DRC will take another week to complete it’s first pass of collection throughout the EBR City-Parish, excluding Central, Zachary and Baker, after which we will determine if another pass by DRC is necessary,” said East Baton Rouge Parish Chief Communications Officer Mark Armstrong.

City-Parish officials released this map to show where debris caused by Hurricane Barry has been collected. (Source - East Baton Rouge Parish)
City-Parish officials released this map to show where debris caused by Hurricane Barry has been collected. (Source - East Baton Rouge Parish)

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