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Derecho debris pickup wraps up in Cedar Rapids

Published: Jun. 30, 2021 at 10:56 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - More than 10 months after the Aug. 10 derecho, debris pickup is complete in Cedar Rapids.

In total, the city said crews picked up more than 4 million cubic yards of debris from an estimated 675,000 felled trees.

“There’s probably little piles here and there, but we are sweeping for those a little bit, and we are done,” Sandi Fowler, Cedar Rapids’ deputy city manager and interim public works director, said.

But some debris might still be out there if it didn’t get moved to the curb in time.

Year-round, people can bring their own debris to the Linn County Solid Waste Agency, located at 2250 A Street SW in Cedar Rapids. Those who aren’t able to move debris on their own can receive help by contacting Waypoint at 319-366-7999.

“We have some nonprofits and volunteers ready and willing to help residents,” Fowler said. “Please, please use that service.”

In total, Fowler said debris removal, mulching, and disposal will cost around $60 million, with the city responsible for 15%, about $9 million, of that. FEMA will cover 75% of the cost, and the state will pay for the remaining 10%, according to Fowler.

The city said it will next focus on grinding down tree stumps in the right of way, which Fowler said will be a multi-year process, as will replanting trees lost to the storm.

In the coming months, spaces repurposed as debris hauling sites will return to their prior form.

“Those sites are going to be cleared, cleaned up, and restored with grass seed over this fall and next spring. It will take a little while to get them cleaned up, but first priority is the Ellis site,” Fowler said.

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