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Hurricane Irma Debris Removal Update
The City of Oakland Park has been actively removing the Hurricane Irma debris from city streets, parks and right-of-ways since Tuesday, September 12, 2017.
The City is in receipt of a “Determination of Need” letter, issued by Dr. Paula Thaqi, Director of the Florida Department of Health in Broward County, to address the removal of debris within private communities. The City has provided the required documentation to the State of Florida Department of Emergency Management (FEDM) to secure approval to remove debris from private communities to receive federal funding. Removal of debris from private communities will continue until the private communities are all serviced.
Debris in Waterways
Hurricane Irma caused storm surge through eastern waterways as additional storm water was discharged from South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). This combination of high water events on both our eastern and western boundaries caused some of our main canals to rise above their banks. The City has 117.20 acres of waterways and lakes within its jurisdiction and 15.86 miles of shoreline. Staff has identified several areas within our waterways that have trees and other debris related to Hurricane Irma.
In order to address the debris, in and along the waterways, the City filed a request for authority from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program to authorize funding reimbursement to remove the debris. Funding may take months to appropriate. The City has contracts in place to remove debris from its waterways once reimbursement is authorized.
City staff has been working seven days a week to remove hurricane debris from our more than 9,000 homes and businesses. The challenge for our City, as well as other cities in South Florida, has been the scope of the damage and the lack of responsiveness by some debris removal vendors. We ask for your cooperation and patience as we continue to this work.