Round 2: Debris removal crews make final city sweep Monday - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Round 2: Debris removal crews make final city sweep Monday

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)-- Chattanooga has gotten more than 12,000 calls to pick up brush and debris since the tornadoes, April 27th.

City council contracted for extra help in June, but it's taken crews two months to make only one sweep of the entire city.  

Contract crews spent Saturday working in Tiftonia and Lookout Valley. Come Monday they'll begin their final pass through the city.

"Thought they would have been caught up by now, but I remember what it looked like so I'm pretty sure they were overwhelmed," Oran Dixson says.

Oran Dixson is focused on the positive. Even though a pile of brush still sits outside his home almost four months after the tornadoes, Dixson says, at least it's smaller than the first one. 

"It was twice as big as it is now and kind of hard getting in and out of the driveway," Dixson says.

He says it didn't take long, just a week, for the city to pick up his first pile of brush.  Since then, it's a different story. 

"They told me it would be on a list, that it would probably take a while," he says.

In June, overwhelmed by calls, the city contracted 15 extra crews to help clean up the enormous mess Mother Nature left behind.  

"There were so many branches that were broken and it took the city three or four weeks to pick it up," Christiam Iedo says.

Unlike Dixson, the pick-up process for Christiam Iedo has been slow from the beginning. He waited a month for his first pile of brush to finally disappear. Now a second mound of brown leaves and branches sits on his front lawn. 

"It bothers me that I have the tree there, the branch there, because the neighborhood looks bad," says Iedo. "But I guess, I mean the city will come and pick it up eventually."

A total of 25 city and contract crews have been working overtime for months.  It took contractors two months to cover the entire city of Chattanooga once, officials say, partly because piles were so large. 

On Monday they begin their second and final blitz. Although the process seems to take forever, Oran Dixson says he understands. 

"Understand the damage that the storm caused and that they're still picking debris up from that, so we understand," he says. "I made sure I stacked it out of the way this time so we can get it in and out of the driveway." 

You must move debris to the curb's edge for collection crews to pick up. The city also advises people to avoid placing debris in drainage ditches, around utility poles, fire hydrants and mailboxes.

Officials expect crews to finish this sweep in four weeks, much faster than the first. 

If you wait until after Monday to move your brush to the curb you'll have to call 3-1-1 to schedule a pickup.

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