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Mid-County cities partner with contractor to remove debris

The three Mid-County cities have found a way to handle debris removal as fewer and fewer sub-contractor trucks are available.

The answer — a partnership with each city using their own employees and trucks to help the contractor.

Nederland, Groves and Port Neches began their cleanup shortly after Tropical Storm Harvey dumped more than 64-inches of rain over southeast Texas. An agreement for debris removal services with DRC was executed and cleanup began Sept. 6 with 13 trucks assigned to the three cities. Trucks were sent to the areas with the most debris and damage but soon afterward Hurricane Irma struck the state of Florida and the demand for debris clean-up trucks increased.

“The cities then began to lose trucks, which are sub-contractors to the debris clean-up in Houston and Florida,” Nederland City Manager Chris Duque said. “The cities went from 13 trucks to 10 trucks to five trucks and now are left with three trucks. Realizing this is not sufficient to complete the debris clean-up operation, the three cities met to discuss re-purposing the cities’ trash trucks to debris clean-up trucks.”

On Friday, each of the three cities trash trucks began supporting DRC with the debris cleanup operation.

City crews will be working 12-hour shifts, seven days a week until the debris clean-up operation is complete.

In Nederland, there will be one DRC truck and two trash trucks working on the debris clean-up; both will have monitors to ensure FEMA regulations are followed for FEMA reimbursement; and there will be one trash truck working Monday through Friday picking up regular trash and green waste placed at the curb, which means this service will slow down dramatically.

In Port Neches, there will be one DRC truck and two trash trucks working on the debris clean-up.

In Groves, there will be one DRC truck and three trash trucks Mondays through Thursdays; and five trash trucks Fridays through Sundays; working on the debris clean-up, he said.

“The cities ask for your understanding and patience as we attempt to complete the debris clean-up operation and still provide trash service to our utility customers,” he said. “The cities are attempting to tackle the debris clean-up with the resources available to us.”

The Mid-County cities are also working with a debris monitoring company, TetraTech out in the field.

The three cities plan to seek reimbursement though the federal emergency Management Agency for all debris costs.

Last year the public works directors from Nederland and Port Neches worked with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to get a temporary debris site approved. The site is located on Lee Avenue and Block Street near Oak Bluff Memorial Park in Port Neches.