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Storm debris problem persists in Big Easy

Sept. 19, 2012 at 1:38 PM   |   Comments

NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Many New Orleans residents who have picked up downed branches and dead leaves left behind by Hurricane Isaac say the city has been slow to remove storm debris.

Unhappy homeowners say bags of hurricane debris sitting on curbs are becoming downright unpleasant because of food waste that has been added to the piles and is starting to rot, The Times-Picayune reported.

Ruth Thompson, a resident of the upscale Garden District, said no trucks have come into the neighborhood to pick up trash.

She worries the piles could harbor roaches and rats as well as decomposing food.

"This is where the tourists want to see beautiful homes. This is where the tourists want to shop," Thompson said. "A gentleman from Texas asked me something, and I said, 'You know, that's why they call it the Big Easy.' I don't want to air our dirty laundry to someone from outside the city."

Michelle Thomas, deputy of operations for Mayor Mitch Landrieu, asked city residents to be patient but she also said the city's regular trash collectors and the three sub-contractors hired to remove storm debris should not be picky about what they pick up.

"No contractor should go by a home and leave a bag on the curb," she said.

Isaac formed in the Atlantic Aug. 21 and made landfall along the Gulf coast Aug. 28. The storm killed at least 34 people as it crossed the Caribbean and was blamed for at least nine deaths in Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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