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Parents: Hurricane debris will endanger trick-or-treaters

Posted at 4:29 PM, Oct 19, 2017

Halloween is less than two weeks away and local parents tell us they’re scared all those post-Hurricane Irma debris piles around our neighborhoods will put kids in danger. 

Exposed nails, debris covering sidewalks and tree trunks blocking the view of the street are all big concerns for local parents.

Hane Blakeman of Largo keeps a close watch on her daughter Kylie, but this debris isn’t helping.

“It’s everywhere. My daughter goes in it. She thinks it’s toys and I’m like no. Something needs to be done,” she said.

It makes Jessica Fontaine of Dunedin nervous too. “It’s just piling up from the sidewalks into the street.”

With just days until Halloween, these moms are already swapping secrets and sharing which neighborhoods are debris free and safe for their trick-or-treaters.

“I don’t want to go into a neighborhood that has a bunch of debris, I’d rather go into one that’s cleaned up and easy to walk around," Fontaine added.

Twice as many kids are hit and killed by cars on Halloween than any other day of the year, and parents worry the debris piles will decrease visibility or force kids dangerously close to the street. 

ABC Action News reached out to several cities. All of them tell us they’re working seven days a week to get the big piles picked up before Halloween.

“I know you’re working hard but the faster we can get this done for our kids the better," Fontaine added.

If you still have debris in your yard, city leaders say clear a path on the sidewalk and make sure piles are short enough for kids to see over.

Valerie Alezard plans to teach her kids an important lesson this Halloween. Dodge the debris piles but always stay out of the street. “I can’t always be in two places at once and I have four and two-year-old sons who are very energetic. The more they know the better it is.”