Phase Two In City Clean-Up Begins

Sunday, January 20th 2008, 8:59 pm
By: News On 6

Ice storm clean-up kicked into phase two on Sunday.  Chainsaw crews braved the cold, going high into the tree tops to clear debris before the big trucks come through to haul it away.  News On 6 reporter Dan Bewley got an update on the progress.

The effort is the second part of the city's big clean-up operation. The crews are focusing on tree limbs and branches that are hanging out over streets or public right-of-ways.

Workers from Ohio performed a little surgery on Tulsa trees.

"Well basically what they are doing is they are removing any tree limbs hanging, sticking out into the right of way," said Tulsa Public Works' Paul Strizek.

In all, 19 crews fanned out across the city.

"It's over the street and it's also over the sidewalk," said Strizek.

Normally, the trees are the responsibility of the homeowner. But because of the ice storm and emergency conditions the clean-up includes, what the city calls hangers, broken branches still hanging over city roads. It doesn't matter if the tree is close to the street or not.

"If a tree was right next to that house, if it had a hanging limb broken off, projecting into the right-of-way, yes, we would remove that," said Strizek.

The clean-up is right on schedule, Strizek says.  Crews average 60,000 cubic yards a day and have brought enough debris to the dumpsite to fill the first 46 floors of the Williams Center Tower. Now grinders are beginning to turn it all into mulch.

Getting the potentially dangerous branches from the tree tops to the curb is just one more tedious step.

The process has made it half-way through Tulsa, it will take about another two weeks to complete.  The city will then re-evaluate and go at it all over again.