I had no real damage in my yard. Limbs down, some tree damage, and that was about it, but by the time I had hauled everything out front and put it at the end of my driveway there was a big heavy pile. I was trying to understand when they were going to pick it up, and whether I should move the little bit off my lawn to avoid damage.
Earlier this week, everything got picked up, and I talked to the crew chief who was doing our street, and he told me about the debris story, and it is one that I would like to pass on. However, just to get a second opinion, I met with Monte Falls, head of Public Works, who oversees the City’s debris pickup, who confirmed my information with explanation points.
No municipality or county can afford to have enough trucks to handle emergencies, but they all help each other out when their neighbor gets hit and they don’t. When Houston got devastated together with the other towns around Houston, it took all the trucks and front-end loaders in the Southeastern US to satisfy the demand, and it still took more time than desirable.
When IRMA hit Florida, the trucks were still engaged in Texas and were not able to move to Florida for a while, and it did not only hit the Keyes, but it hit all 67 counties of Florida, and we are a big state. Truck contractors went to the highest bidders, truck contractors broke contracts, and truck contractors did superlative work, but it has been a scramble to get trucks to work in small municipalities like Vero Beach. We are now about 20% picked up, we have a lot more to go, but the City is working hard to get it done.
We have great people working on it, but they have to depend on others in emergency situations, so we must be patient. I asked if we couldn’t get some other equipment from other states and was told that there was not a front-end loader within 2,000 miles of Florida, and if you wanted to buy it, it would be at a huge premium, and if you wanted to lease it, it would be for a minimum of 2 years at a premium price.
Hats off to city staff willing to put up with these issues, and then take unpleasant phone calls from us.