Public Works playing catch up after back-to-back storms - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Public Works playing catch up after back-to-back storms

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

The one-two punch of a snow storm two weeks ago followed by severe thunderstorm winds just a week later downed trees and limbs all over Chattanooga, forcing a back log of calls into the Public Works Department. While streets have been cleared of debris, many residential properties haven't.

"We do have an unseasonable amount of requests and we're fielding those as quickly as possible," explains Deputy Administrator Justin Holland, especially when comparing this February to last. "We have about a 200% increase in requests from this time last year."

February is typically the department's slowest month, according to one crew supervisor. But in the past two weeks nearly 80% of pick-up requests have been storm-related.

"Just since the snow storm we've received over 4000 requests," adds Holland. "This time last year we were fielding about 1000 requests."

Even with an "all hands on deck" approach adding manpower and Saturdays to the schedule, collecting all the trees and brush has been a challenge. Holland wants everyone to know his crews are doing the best they can to serve the community.

"We understand that no one wants debris sitting on the right-of-way in front of their house," says Holland.

And while under normal circumstances he says next-day pick-up is typical, this situation is far from typical. Many people have had to wait up to a week from the time they call 3-1-1.

"At this point now we're battling both storms," says Holland.

He goes on to say that if you've called 3-1-1, please be patient. Crews will continue to work six days a week until everyone's storm debris is collected and the department is caught up.

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