City workers are making progress with storm debris

Bonnie Belec
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Residents can avail of a free pick-up service for Leslie’s mess

City of St. John’s work crews are still picking up debris in the capital city following tropical storm Leslie which passed through on Sept. 11. Parks Services Workers,  John Whelan (left) and Art Skanes (right) load the city’s utility truck with broken tree limbs and branches in Cornwall Heights Monday afternoon. — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

While employees received kudos from St. John’s city councillors Monday for their clean up efforts after post tropical storm Leslie, the public works director said there’s still a bit of work to be done.

Ward 2 Coun. Frank Galgay thanked management and workers for the exceptional jobs they did preparing people in advance of Leslie and the phenomenal job that was done afterwards.

He commended public works director Paul Mackey for the debris gathering even though Galgay admitted there’s more to be done in some of the city parks and in different parts of the city.

Following a brief applause from council, Mackey took the opportunity to remind residents to call 311 for help.

“We have the door-to-door collection we’re offering free of charge. People can call 311 and give us their address, but we’re not giving any specific times for pickups because of the volumes. When we are on a specific street we finish that street while we’re there,” he said.

“We’ll pick it up over the next couple of weeks, but again it depends on the volumes,” Mackey said.

He reminded residents if they can’t wait they can drop off trees and branches at Quidi Vidi Lake west parking lot, Wishingwell Park and Bowring Park west parking lot.

Mackey said the other aspect of the pickup service is a free curbside collection of fences, decks or siding damaged through the storm. These items can also be dropped off at the Robin Hood Bay dump if residents can’t wait for the pick-up service.

Tropical storm Leslie hit the province one week ago today. Newfoundland Power utility poles on Ruby Line were downed, a Corvette was crushed by a shed that blew over on Brisbane Court in Paradise, a house under construction on Vale Drive in Pouch Cove collapsed and thousands were without power, some for several days.

The strongest winds observed by Environment Canada came from Cape Pine on the southeast Avalon, where gusts up to 137 kilometres per hour were reported, and at one point strong winds in Badger forced the town to declare a local state of emergency.

Following the storm, Mackey said the three biggest municipal parks in St. John’s lost several trees as a result of the storm with Victoria and Bannerman parks suffering the most damage.

Based on discussions with city staff, Mackey said some of the fallen trees were believed to be anywhere from 100 to 200 years old.

Organizations: Newfoundland Power, Environment Canada

Geographic location: Quidi Vidi Lake, Wishingwell Park, Bowring Park Robin Hood Bay Paradise Pouch Cove Cape Pine Avalon Victoria

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