LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - The City of Longview has hit a roadblock in its storm recovery efforts. The city’s compost site is overwhelmed by the volume of tree debris collected since straight-line winds hit in early May.
Elroy Brooks, streets and drainage manage for the City of Longview, said Wednesday crews have been working nonstop since May 8 -- which has also exhausted the City’s overtime budget for the sanitation department.
“We just kind of slacked up a little bit because we ran out of overtime,” Brooks said.
Meantime, work at the compost site is piling up, and crews can’t pick up any of the remaining debris still littering yards and roadsides.
The City does have an option to free up money to continue tree cleanup, said Sanitation and Beautification Manager Todd Gibbs.
He said the sanitation department has a fund balance from which they’re hoping to pull $182,000 to pay for grinding operations at the compost site.
"It’s 152,000 yards that we’re trying to grind up,” Gibbs said.
And waiting is not an option.
“It’s at that point where we really have to have it because we just don’t have the room to bring in more, and there’s still more out there,” Gibbs said.
Money is being moved from separate accounts in order to cover overtime costs, Gibbs said.
In May, the National Weather Service confirmed it was 90 mph winds that caused the damage the city is still working to clean up. The width of the damage on May 8 was 2,500 yards.
“Out of 14 years I’ve been here, I never saw so much debris from a storm, and it’s still coming,” Brooks said.