Crews Still In First Round Of Debris Removal

Friday, February 8th 2008, 9:06 am
By: News On 6

The city contract crews dealing with Tulsa's ice storm debris continue to work on the first pass through the city.  On Friday, the city reported 1.6 million cubic yards of trees limbs were picked up.  The News On 6's Emory Bryan reports all that progress doesn't matter much to the people who haven't had their limbs cleared or worse the ones who think they've been passed over.  The city has been hearing from more people who want to know when the trucks are coming.

While the trucks are hauling away some big loads, they're sometimes leaving small piles behind.  If that's happened to you, there is a way to find out why.

"I strongly encourage people to call in if they've got a concern and think they've been missed because those things can happen," said Dan Crossland, Tulsa Public Works Department. 

The city and the contractor meet three times a week to work out problems, most of them questions and complaints that are phoned in.

The Mayor's Action Center operators take questions about what's happening with the limb pickup, but they don't know exactly where the crews are working.

"They can give them general information, but more specific information like an address or a street, we don't have that information because the contractor is working at a very fast pace," said Mayor's Action Center Spokesperson Kim MacLeod.

For more specific information, the Mayor's Action Center sends the question to Public Works.

"We take each one and investigate it and look at it and see what the issues are and the concern is and get a response back to the person who called in and a lot of times we're able to resolve it pretty quickly," said Crossland.

Crossland says in many cases, it's either a simple mistake of being passed over, or the spot is inaccessible for the large trucks.  In either case, the city can question the contractor and get the limbs picked up, if people call in to report it.

"We have our city employees and inspectors going out and checking those things and finding out what happened so we can get back with the contractor," said Crossland.

The contractor had 60 days to get the job done, but now the contract has been extended to 120 days.  The city believes the first pass and part of the second will be done within 60 days and the rest will be cleaned up shortly after that.

To keep track of the progress, visit the City of Tulsa website.

Meanwhile, for the second time, FEMA has denied individual assistance to Oklahomans recovering from the December ice storm. FEMA dismissed an appeal from Governor Henry, which he calls disappointing. Only state and local governments will recoup the cost of the cleanup.