Zachary's Department of Public Works and Utilities Director Chris Davezac says crews collected and burned nearly 500 tons of debris within a few days. "We started running crews 10 hours a day on Tueday, Sept. 4," Davezac said. "We worked through last Friday and will continue through the end of this week, making another pass through the Zachary community."
Davezac said crews began in the north end of town and worked their way through neighborhoods, roads and streets picking up debris such as leaves, branches and limbs but not regular trash, plastic or metal. "Citizens have been great about keeping everything separate," said Davezac. "I also want to thank the community for heeding the warnings during Hurricane Isaac and staying off the roads so we could do our jobs."
Two city crews and one contractor, Allan's Tree Service of Baton Rouge, plus a trailer and dumptruck donated by Chad Mason of Big Raggedy Trucking of Baker, have allowed workers to pick up the debris and haul it to a dump site where it is then burned. A special DEQ permit allows burning of storm debris, Davezac said.
Nearly 500 tons of debris - measured with a FEMA formula using cubic feet - had been picked up as of last Thursday, but Davezac said he expects that number to be much larger when finished. He estimated 45 loads were picked up last Tuesday, 44 loads on Wednesday and 44 loads as of 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 6.
A total of two backhoe operators plus Wayne Allison, Keith Day and Wayne Day, as well as eight truck-drivers and four men with rakes are all working to ensure storm debris is picked up.
"They were nearly 90 percent complete within three days. That's incredible," said Davezac. "They've done an outstanding job and have been consistent and methodical in their efforts. I'm very impressed with their workmanship. We've also been blessed with no equipment issues."
Davezac also thanked Denise Burdette, Dianne Womack and Lovenia Williams, who worked during the storm answering calls and have continued to be a huge help with the clean-up efforts. "They've been great and are keeping track of all the man hours, equipment and paperwork involved with a job like this," Davezac said. "I appreciate everyone's help with every aspect of this job."
An assessment was done on Sunday to locate spots missed, and crews will continue to pick up storm debris through Friday, Sept. 14, Davezac said.
Citizens are asked to be patient with clean-up efforts and continue to keep storm debris piles separate from regular trash items. "We cannot be successful in our task without the help of the Zachary community," Davezac said.