EBR debris removal plan activated; regular trash pickup resumes

Mayor Sharon Weston Broome today announced the activation of the parish’s emergency debris removal contractor program in response to Hurricane Ida. 

Tree removal from roadways and damage assessments are the first priorities, with general debris removal set to begin by next Tuesday, Sept. 7, Broome’s office says. The city-parish contracts this service out to DRC Emergency Services, which it used after Hurricane Delta last year. 

“We expect the initial damage assessments will take the next 3 to 5 days and continue for up to 14 days,” city-parish officials say in a prepared statement. “Once these initial damage assessments are complete, we will move into debris collection. City-parish officials will announce details about any phases or zones that crews will use to prioritize debris removal activities.” 

Meanwhile, Republic Services, which is not handling storm debris, resumed daily collection services today.

“It’s a challenge with the trees and lines that are down, and we just have to make sure that we’re safe,” says Sharon Mann, general manager with Republic Services, which recently has faced COVID-19-related staffing issues and service delays across the parish. “We were closed yesterday. Most of our employees came back [after the storm]. We have a couple that are trickling in tomorrow.”

Once debris removal operations begin Sept. 7, removal crews working with DRC will begin collecting storm debris from residences in Baton Rouge and unincorporated areas. The collection process is expected to take up to 12 weeks. 

East Baton Rouge Parish once again will have a dusk-until-dawn curfew tonight, Broome also announced. All city-parish buildings will be closed through Friday for everyone except essential personnel.