Hurricane Irma debris pickup slow and steady in Pinellas County

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Pinellas County neighborhoods, battered by Hurricane Irma, are facing a massive cleanup effort a month after the storm rolled through. 

A total of 120 trucks are working seven days a week, picking up debris along the roadways.

But even with all that, there’s much more to do.

Neighbors in the Westlake Village neighborhood of Palm Harbor are finally seeing debris vanish.

Armed with a claw and a truck fit for the task, a contractor worked his way from pile to pile, scooping up what Irma knocked down.

One family watched as a huge pile near their front yard was taken away.

“I’m glad. I’m really happy about that. I will stop sneezing,” said Tula Alexander.

In unincorporated Pinellas County, about 30 percent to 35 percent of the job is complete.

Scoop by scoop, logs and limbs are being hauled off.

“And it doesn’t seem to be in any order it’s just, they come and go,” said Kathy Rutz.

Debris that gets picked up goes to a county property off Keystone in the north part of the county.

It’s been a month since Irma brought down the debris. Picking it up will take longer.

“I’m very happy, because I’m getting nervous. Ya know, there’s a lot of kids and they like to go out, and mischief night is coming up, and so I’m happy that the trucks are back,” said Kathy Rutz.

It’s a small sign that life in communities is getting back to normal.

“We in Westlake are so happy to see the trucks here and debris gone,” said Fay Alderman.

The goal is to have the first pass of trucks finish their work by Halloween.

They will continue picking up until everything is gone.

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