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Thaw Sends North Texans Out To Cleanup Storm Damage

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Bud Gillett
Bud is the most veteran reporter at CBS 11 News with 42 years in m...
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NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – With much of the ice thawed from last weekend’s storm many homeowners in North Texas are turning to cleaning up their storm-damaged property.

Northeast Dallas and its adjoining suburbs were especially hard hit.  Homeowners went through a sort of tree damage drill almost three years ago — now they’re re-learning the ropes.   In some neighborhoods the song of the chain saw was easier to hear than a Christmas carol.

Rigo Guerrera worked to get one Richardson homeowner’s tree debris out on the curb for pickup. “Pretty bad,” he said, noting he had four calls for assistance on Monday.  “Everybody’s calling.  Clients to get the branches out of their trees and some of them are next to the house.”

Downed trees and branches were the norm in many neighborhoods. Looking at the damage on the streets where he was working Guerrera said, “This is not too bad. Some places where the trees are not too strong they [owners] ask us to knock them down.”

A lot of trees across North Texas have already fallen down. One in North Dallas fell on top of a house, causing roof and interior damage.  A similar incident nearly happened to Jarred Overbey of Richardson.  “Early morning on Friday I heard a large crash and the house kind of shook,” he recalled. “I went outside and pretty much had an early Christmas present of devastation.”

Overbey got most of the damaged tree cut up over the weekend.

Homeowners in Richardson can arrange for debris pickup by computer or by phone.  The city is divided into quadrants for heavy trash and debris service.

Overbey said he was prepared “Mine [quadrant] was Monday so I know that I had to get my request in on the website by Sunday night.   And pretty much did an online request.  And when I came back home Monday it was already picked up.”

Most cities contacted by CBS 11 News have a similar approach.  Homeowners or businesses wanting pickup must place debris on the curb — not in alleys, streets or easements.  Some cities like Richardson require notification online or by phone.  Others cities, including Allen, Irving, and University Park, have scout crews out looking for piles of debris and will then schedule pickups. Check with your city’s website for specifics.

Not all cities were hard hit. Fort Worth hasn’t had a lot of downed trees, for instance. So far, records show only eight trees lost on city property and parks. Unfortunately the roads in Fort Worth were much worse.

Cleaning up sand has become an issue as well.  In most cities street sweepers vacuum it up.  On state highways TxDOT officials say most sand was put on bridges.  That will be swept up, too, but not until winter’s over.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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