City hoping to have Hurricane Ida cleanup completed in 12 weeks

When Hurricane Ida blew through East Baton Rouge Parish a little over two weeks ago, the damage was extensive, with downed power lines and trees leaving almost no area untouched. As a result, cleanup could take a few months to complete.

The city began debris removal and cleanup on Sept.  7, says Kelvin Hill, assistant chief administrative officer at the mayor’s office, and 107,000 cubic yards of material were picked up in the first six days. There is now an average of 18,000 cubic yards of materials being picked up daily.

In order to complete the collection, the city is using GIS zones and maps, Hill says. The parish is split into 32 zones, 19 north of Florida Boulevard and 13 south, and there is about one cleanup truck in every zone. 

The more heavily wooded areas in the south and southeastern parts of the parish suffered more damage and most likely need the most cleanup, Hill says.

Debris removal was suspended on Wednesday due to the remnants of Hurricane Nicholas and some trucks were slowed Tuesday because of the weather. Cleanup will resume Thursday.

On the positive side, the storm did not cause much damage or increase debris, Hill says, and the original estimate about when Hurricane Ida debris removal will be completed still stands.