ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — For the past three months, the view out of Lisa Flowers’ front door was a stack of hurricane debris.
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Yards of twisted sticks, branches and leaves crushed the landscaping on the easement across the street. It sat and decayed, attracting rats and the occasional bag of trash people hid among the mess.
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“I was told it would be picked up, [a county worker] said it would be taken care of because I had a confirmation number,” Flowers said.
That was before December 16, the day trucks stopped regularly rolling around the county scooping up debris from Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole. Still, the pile sat. Flowers joked she could’ve decorated it for Christmas.
What a BEAUTIFUL sight to see out your front door!— Nick Papantonis WFTV (@NPapantonisWFTV) January 4, 2023
Yes, three months after Hurricane Ian, large piles of debris remain in the Orlando area. We are helping this homeowner and others nearby get pickup scheduled! @WFTV pic.twitter.com/LIdZAlu9AA
One neighborhood over, Dan Young burned a lot of his neighbor’s pile – but it still obscured the neighbor’s front fence.
“Just a big eyesore,” he remarked.
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The pile Young worked hard to eliminate is now history, picked up late Wednesday after WFTV called Orange County and notified staff about the issue. Flowers’ pile appeared to be on borrowed time – its removal momentarily stalled because the debris truck filled up before it could completely circle the block.
A county spokesman said they were working their way through a “punch list” with the debris hauling contractor for piles that hadn’t been picked up. When notified of a missed location, he said the county had to verify that the pile existed and was hurricane debris.
Then, the address is passed along to the contractor for pickup.
It’s not clear how much debris has yet to be removed. In December, a county official said they were surprised at how much hadn’t been taken care of when they put out a final call.
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Residents of unincorporated Orange County who have not yet had their hurricane debris removed can get put on the list for pickup by emailing Darrell Moody at Darrell.Moody2@ocfl.net.
It’s recommended the person include their contact number, address and a picture of the debris pile to expedite the process.
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