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Derecho clean-up continues over five months after the storm

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) - Clean-up crews continue to collect tree debris all across the city of Cedar Rapids over five months after the derecho hit Northeast Iowa. 

Some residents have been worried that tree piles in front of their homes have been forgotten about, but city workers have been working on clearing the city. 

“Sun up to sun down, we’re going to continue until we get this all cleaned up,” City of Cedar Rapids Construction Engineering Manager Taylor Burgin said. 

Pausing only to take breaks throughout the day, and to sleep at night, crews are continuing to collect tree debris. Clean-up is expected to finish up by the end of winter, or early spring.

“We don’t really intend to slow down unless we get another big snowstorm for safety reasons. Obviously we don’t want a big truck out in the middle of the road making a dangerous situation,” Burgin said. 

Although clean-up may seem slow to many, the workers have come a long way. The severity of the derecho storm caused damage to nearly every tree in the city. 

The clean-up crews with Flannery Trucking have collected nearly 3.2 million cubic yards of tree debris. That number doesn’t include all of the trees still needed to be taken down, or trimmed, that were marked unsafe by arborists in September. 

“It’s just an unfortunate situation to be in,” Burgin said. 

Any debris still left in yards can be put on the curb until a final pick up date is announced by the city. Piles covered by snow will be collected, but may be harder to find.

To report any tree debris piles that you believe may have been skipped or missed, you can report them here.

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Diego Hernandez

Multimedia Journalist

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