10 Days After Flooding, City Of Houston Works Hard To Collect Debris

Jun. 3, 2015Houston Public Media

City trucks have collected 12,000 cubic yards of debris since Saturday, and more is added every day.

The mayor’s chief of staff, Chris Newport, said the city will continue to send out more trucks.

“We’re allocating the equipment that we can to the debris management and debris collection effort in addition to the contractors that we’re schooling up,” Newport said.

The effort started Saturday, five days after the flooding happened, because President Barack Obama declared Harris County eligible for federal disaster funds one day earlier.

The City Council on Wednesday approved the creation of a disaster fund that will help the city in getting reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“They won’t reimburse us for doing our normal heavy trash collection,” Mayor Annise Parker said. “This happens to be our normal heavy trash collection month. And so, this allows us to put all of that in one pile, completely segregated for FEMA, so that it can be audited.”

A city analysis shows that most of the damage from the flooding occurred in three areas: southwest Houston, Near Northside and Spring Branch.

The city is not providing cost estimates nor the cost assessed so far.