BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Cleanup is beginning for homeowners who have spent days with debris at the curb as debris removal crews converge on several flood-damaged parishes.
The piles of debris are stacked high at the Woodland Ridge subdivision off South Harrells Ferry Road in Baton Rouge, a clear indication of just how badly homes were damaged there.
DRC Emergency Services, a group dedicated the tackling the debris, is allowing people to start the next phase of the cleanup process.
As trucks turned down her street at Clearlake Estates Friday, Starlotte Legier could not help but watch in awe. The claw, as she called it, is like nothing she has ever seen.
"The guy that's doing the work is so awesome," Legier said. "He d ropped a branch and he was able to pick that little branch up. That one little bitty branch, he picked it up and put it in the truck and I was like wow this guy is good."
On one part, she is sad watching all the memories and the hard work of building her life be scooped up in seconds, but Legier is also happy because with every swipe, she said the powerful jaws of the crane are slowly returning her neighborhood to normal.
"I'm excited because it just means that I'm one day closer to getting all of this over with," she added.
Mark Stafford, spokesperson for DRC, said they have been contracted by East Baton Rouge, Ascension, Tangipahoa, Iberville, and Lafayette parishes. The group has about 60 trucks in EBR alone, and Stafford said the work is subcontracted out to more than 20 different companies.
"We're trying to methodically attack this problem," Stafford said. "We're in just about every zip code that was affected. If we're not in the zip code yet, we'll be there by the end of this weekend."
Stafford said if residents have not seen crews in their neighborhoods yet, help is on the way.
"I would ask residents to just be patient," he said. "We will get to you and we'll get to you more than once so if you don't have it at the curb now, there will be other opportunities to place your debris at the curb and we'll pick it up."
While she has lost a lot, Legier said she is thankful the weight of having a pile of debris in her front yard has been lifted.
"Thank God that we have the service and thank God we can move forward. It could have been a lot worse," Legier added.
DRC officials encourage residents not to bag items to make it easier for truck operators to see what they are grabbing. They also say it is a good idea to avoid piling items near trees or fire hydrants for safety purposes.