City of Cedar Rapids begins final phase of inorganic storm debris removal

A pile of storm debris sits along the curb of a Cedar Rapids home on Sunday, November 15th, 2020.
A pile of storm debris sits along the curb of a Cedar Rapids home on Sunday, November 15th, 2020.(Aaron Hosman)
Published: Nov. 15, 2020 at 5:45 PM CST
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The final sweep of inorganic debris clean up starts Sunday in Cedar Rapids. That’s just about three months after the powerful August 10th derecho.

“Every time I look out in my backyard it’s a reminder,” said Travis Wray of Cedar Rapids.

Wray and his family have lived in their Cedar Rapids home for 15 years, but memories of the August 10th derecho stand out. Especially with a large pile of debris still sitting along their curb.

“Any damage that happened from the storm is just a reminder,” he said.

Their home is just one of many with inorganic debris still pilled on the curb in their neighborhood. Just over 48 percent of Cedar Rapids has had an initial pass of non-tree related debris clean up, according to the city website. That’s with colder weather and the likelihood of snow inching closer.

“That was one of the things I was concerned about the most was getting that stuff off the curb before the snow fell,” Wray said.

The City requests people pile inorganic and organic debris separately along the curb, keeping sidewalks and streets clear. Bulky items not damaged in the storm will not be collected. The Wray’s pile shows just a portion of what damaged from their yard.

“If you came by before, you probably wouldn’t even see that big cement wall back there. Now, it’s so much loader now because there isn’t that sound barrier,” he said.

Sounds from Interstate 380 just behind their home are now easier to hear with dozens of trees gone. Trees that fell, smashing their fence and destroying a shed and some of those parts now sitting, waiting to be taken away.

“If it was going to take any longer and getting closer and closer to the snow, we were just going to start hauling stuff out to the dump by the truckload,” Wray said.

Toxic materials, things like propane tanks will not be collected in the sweep and should be taken to the Solid Waste Agency County Home Road site. For more information on non-organic storm debris clean up visit here.

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