Update (9:09 a.m.): It appears that what will be ending tomorrow are primarily the relationships with the outside contractors. Metro Public Works will continue to pick up debris in those areas where their monitors tell them it exists. If you are aware of other flood debris that needs pickup from the curb, email Stacy McCoy (Stacy.firstname.lastname@example.org) at Public Works and she can dispatch a truck to handle debris removal.
I haven’t been writing here much due to the work I’ve been doing with the South Nashville Flood Relief group, but the current need is such that it’s time to throw out a quick post here in case anyone still checks this space out. As you probably know, Metro Public Works has been engaged in picking up flood debris for the past four weeks of this disaster without cost to victims or the volunteer groups that help them. They have announced that this debris removal will end Tuesday for a variety of reasons, from the ending of contracts to fears that construction debris will start being picked up by their trucks. This is a problem, for we have not yet completed gutting and mucking operations throughout Nashville. In North Nashville alone, there are still over 80 projects that need completion, and we continue to discover homes where little has been done in removing wet items and saturated wall board.
The experts that I have spoken with at FEMA suggest that debris removal should continue for at least another two weeks, and the groups that I have spoken with concur. However, when we appealed the decision to the director of Public Works, we were informed that the decision was already made (without consultation of the groups on the ground who are doing the actual work) and that no changes in the policy were possible.
SO, it’s time for the people to be heard. I encourage you to take some time today and tomorrow to make a quick phone call. If you think that debris removal should continue pick up the phone and call (615) 862-6000 and express your opinion to Mayor Karl Dean. Let him know that you think the city has a responsibility to help our neighbors through the entire process of flood recovery and that you would like to see debris removal extended.
Who knows, it might help?