Pinellas County officials asking homeowners to report storm debris via Facebook

Posted at 3:05 AM, Oct 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-26 07:46:12-04

Pinellas County crews already picked up over 264,000 cubic yards of Hurricane Irma storm debris, but if you still have tree limbs and branches in your yard, county officials are asking you to private message them on Facebook. 

"I don’t know how long the stuff is going to be here," said Deborah Wilson, who's chopped up tree towers over her and fits snuggly between her mailbox and front lawn.

The debris nearly molds into Wilson's landscape. Parts of it are over six feet tall. She fears creatures may be finding shelter underneath.

"I told myself there lizards and I’m hoping that’s all that’s in there. But there is a pond in the back so the possibility of snakes does exist," Wilson said.

Wilson lives in Pinellas Park, an area where debris is still being picked up by crews. Crews already picked up between 150,000 and 200,000 cubic yards there. The same goes for parts of Unincorporated Pinellas County where Carrie Boucher lives.

"I think it was sometime last week that it was picked up," said Boucher.

But instead of calling for help, Pinellas County is asking homeowners to private message officials on Facebook where they can reach more people. Boucher says it is a sign of the times. People who do not write, fax or call in their concerns.

"They’re going to email. They’re gonna use social media because they’re on it all day anyway," said Boucher.

Pinellas County says the first pass was picking up things like tree branches and limbs. Once that is complete throughout the entire county, crews will go around a second time and pick up old fencing and siding.

If you're concerned about exposed nails, hide them in the middle of the pile so they are covered. 

The first pass should be done by the end of October, in five to ten days. Then crews will begin their second pass right away. Pinellas County believes the second pass will go faster than the first.

Pinellas Park says that could take anywhere between six to eight weeks. Wilson says while she appreciates their hard work, she wants the debris out of her yard.

"I really think it’s kind of ridiculous to expect people that have incurred damage and have all this debris to have to be the ones reaching out to tell the county or any city where it is," Wilson said.