Storm debris leftover from December's winter storm. (Photo: Steve Payne, KTHV)
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Between 14 and 16 tons of debris remain in Little Rock from that Christmas Day blizzard, and Friday brought relief as FEMA funded crews swept Little Rock.
For the last month or so navigating through the narrow streets of Hillcrest has been even tougher for Ben Harrison.
"Whenever you take a corner, there's always like a pile on the corner," said Harrison. Debris litters his front yard as well. "It's not exactly what you want to see when you go outside."
Despite roughly 3,500 trips to the landfill, Little Rock Public Works reported the loads only reduced the debris by a third, leaving roughly 15 tons.
"Our equipment does not have the right capacity to be able to haul it. We've been working 110 people 6 to 10 hour days," said Eric Petty, Little Rock Public Works Operations Manager.
Friday morning Ceres Environmental began sweeping the city loading debris thanks to FEMA funding. Petty said these trucks dwarf what Little Rock dump trucks can do.
"It literally takes 10 of my dump trucks loaded and hauling to the landfill to equal one of their loads," said Petty.
The contracted crews are more efficient, too, using only one machine, where Little Rock crews require a truck and backhoe.
"It'll be nice if they can get it cleaned up. I understand it's a big job," said Harrison.
Petty estimated the crews should be able to remove most of the debris in the next two months. FEMA funding will cover 75 percent of the estimated million dollars for the cleanup. The state and the city will split the rest.