Roughly half of the debris from Hurricane Irma has been picked up since the storm hit Florida, DeBary City Council members learned Wednesday.
City contractors have cleared about 30,000 cubic yards of debris — about twice as much as originally expected for the entire job, Alan Williamson, the city’s director of public works, told city council members.
The debris pickup is expected to continue for another two weeks.
Williamson said the cleanup will cost more than originally expected, though how much more wasn’t immediately clear.
Two weeks ago, the City Council approved a rapid-pickup plan for $540,000, hiring two contractors – Waste Pro and DRC – to pick up from public roads, as well as from private roads in gated subdivisions.
That plan was approved when the city estimated it had about 15,000 cubic yards to pick up.
The council praised Williamson and other staffers for their hard work before, during and after the storm.
Williamson said the city provided more than 8,000 sandbags to residents before the storm.
Nearly 30 large trees fell and were removed by staffers during Irma, Williamson noted.
He said nearly 12 inches of rain fell during Irma and no homes flooded.
Homes in the River City flooded in 2004 and 2008.
Since then, the city installed $30 million worth of stormwater upgrades.
“Zero flooding, Mr. McLemore,” an appreciative Mayor Bob Garcia told interim City Manager Ron McLemore. “Zero flooding. The system worked.”
Tropical Storm Fay in 2008 dumped close to 24 inches of rain in 24 hours on parts of West Volusia in 2008, overflowing lakes, putting streets underwater and flooding 130 homes in DeBary.
City staffers pledged to try for reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for costs associated with Hurricane Irma debris removal.
FEMA already owes DeBary nearly $400,000 for Hurricane Matthew, which hit Central Florida a year ago.
In other actions Wednesday:
The DeBary City Council gave initial approval to a zoning change for an assisted-living facility.
The 40-foot, three-story Canterwood Manor Assisted Living Facility is planned on nearly 8 acres northeast of U.S. Highway 17-92 and Dirksen Drive.
The 120-bed facility will replace two existing single-family rental homes on property owned by Charles and Saundra Grey of DeBary.
Council members also gave second approval to a 289-unit apartment complex planned on the other side of Dirksen Drive.
Construction on Hawthorne Landing could begin in spring 2018 with completion set for summer 2019.
Hawthorne Landing (also called Integra 289 Exchange) is planned on 16 acres southeast of U.S. Highway 17-92 and Dirksen Drive on land commonly known as the Costa property.