Residents say push to remove tornado debris is too soon

Kristen Pierce talks to New Orleans East residents about the amount of time the city gave them to clear tornado debris.

NEW ORLEANS - Derrick Berkley's home in New Orleans East was destroyed last month after an EF-3 tornado tore through his neighborhood. His home is wrecked and he's not alone. House after house after house is damaged. Roofs are torn off, windows are shattered and some homes are a complete loss. For many people, a sign of recovery isn't even close. 

"It's been kind of difficult. I got most of this stuff out on the first pickup but I still have a considerable amount of debris still left," says Berkley. 

"I'm by myself and I don't have no family to help me. I just don't have the strength to do the kind of stuff that they are telling me you to in this kind of time they want me to do it," says Mamie Neyland, whose house was damaged in the tornado. 

The time for city help is up. The city of New Orleans gave a 30-day timeline to clear debris from the area. But those days ended a little early. The last day for a debris pass for residential properties was Sunday - 26 days after the devastating tornado. 

"What we have here is unheard of," says Neyland. 

"I can't believe it's only a month they're giving us to get the garbage out. It's way too soon," adds Berkley. 

Homeowners are hoping the city will give them more time. 

"I want them to extend it as far as they can. Maybe another 60 days. That would probably help out a whole lot more," says Berkley. 

City contractors will be finishing up outstanding work orders until Wednesday. As for residents, the last debris removal pickup was on Sunday. If you still have things you need to toss out, you'll need to make private arrangements if it can not go on the curb with regular garbage pickup. 

© 2017 WWL-TV


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