Hurricane Ida

A bicyclist rides by a fallen tree in Denham Springs after Hurricane Ida, which struck the state on Aug. 29, 2021.

Hurricane Ida debris pickup within the City of Denham Springs limits will pause this week to give residents more time to bring their storm debris to the roadside, city officials have announced.

Pickup will resume in the second week of October — Oct. 11-17 — and officials hope it’ll be the final round of pickup from the destructive storm that swept through the state in late August. Cleanup has been ongoing over the last month, with contractors picking up thousands of tons of debris.

The City of Denham Springs has a separate debris contract with Ceres Environmental, which has handled debris pickup in Livingston Parish following storms for several years.

During a recent podcast interview with The News, Denham Springs Mayor Gerard Landry said debris contractors have made “tremendous progress,” completing two passes through the city as of last week.

But that’s not to say there haven’t been some issues, he noted.

“We had 11 or 12 trucks on the road and the parish had 40 on the road, then you had normal garbage debris removal all going to one landfill,” Landry said. “It created some backups that made things drag out even longer. But we’ve made some tremendous progress.”

Landry said the third round of pickup will commence next week, noting it should be “smaller” than the previous two passes.

“They’re (the debris contractors) estimating it should only take a week,” Landry said. “So the whole idea was to give homeowners another opportunity to get some more debris… to the road so they can be removed.”

During the podcast, Landry urged property owners to take advantage of the extra time federal officials have given affected parishes for debris removal. Last week, President Joe Biden approved Louisiana's request for an additional 15 days at 100 percent federal funding for Public Assistance Category A, which covers debris removal.

Landry said “cleanup is very expensive,” noting that the city has spent $1.5 million on debris pickup so far. Those funds are eligible to be fully reimbursed by FEMA, as well as any funds spent within the 45-day window for Public Assistance Category A.

“So that’s why we’re trying to get everybody to wrap this up so we can have this thing funded 100 percent by FEMA, because it’s your tax dollars,” Landry said. “We’re trying to save you money and that’s what this is all about.”

Residents are urged to call (225) 665-8121 if they feel that Ceres has not made a pickup in their neighborhood or if they have new storm debris at their roadside.

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