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Ormond Beach Observer Friday, Dec. 1, 2017 1 year ago

The Trails: A calm after Hurricane Irma

It took roughly six weeks to clean up the damage from Hurricane Irma in The Trails.
by: Nichole Osinski Community Editor

For Hurricane Matthew, cleanup didn't end in The Trails until February 2017, about five months afterward. For Irma, it took about six weeks.  

However, more than $200,000 has gone into the cleanup of The Trails after the last two hurricanes hit, according to Hayes who added that the money was taken out of the general reserves, which is for capital repairs and maintenance. This does mean that when money is removed it eventually has to be put back . 

One of the larger challenges the community faced was clearing away debris from the newly paved bike paths, which had the most damage. Around $80,000 had been spent to repave the paths this year. Last year, after Hurricane Matthew, workers were able to use equipment, like skid-steer loaders, to push the debris from the paths to be removed or chipped. 

This year, because the bike paths, which are 3.6 miles one way, had recently been paved, cleanup had to be done slowly and without damaging the newly laid asphalt, meaning no machinery could be put on the paths and the work was done all by hand. 

Yellowstone Landscape was brought in for cleanup and while the company did not need additional equipment, additional manpower was was brought in the assist, according to Steve Stershic, account manager with Yellowstone Landscape, which is contracted by The Trails to perform landscape maintenance activities. Hourly rates and usage fees for equipment are included in the contract. 

"Every median and cul-de-sac in The Trails had to be hand raked because of all the debris that had either fallen into the medians and cul-de-sac or that residents placed in the median and cul-de-sac," Stershic said. "We cleaned everything."

Stershic said there weren't as many fallen trees as last year, but a chipper was still a vital part of removing the debris that had collected throughout the community.  He added that some of the debris was able to be chipped and blown back on the paths. Debris in medians and cul-de-sac was taken to a dump yard. 

According to Hayes, the city took care of clearing the streets and homeowners were asked to not put debris in the community's center island as the community would have to pay to have it cleaned. Debris put on residents' personal property or their right of way would be picked up by the city, Hayes said.  

As for the amount of time spent cleaning up the community, that number reached 480 hours for clearing the bike paths, in addition to skid loader with grapple bucket and brush chipper usage fees. More than 500 hours were spent on cleaning up the medians and cul-de-sacs.

“We’ve had our share of hurricanes,” Hayes said. “If we don’t get any more that would be fantastic.”


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