Clean-up of trees and brush brought down by Hurricane Fiona is continuing in rural Pictou County.
Evan Hale, director of Emergency Services for the Municipality of Pictou County, recently updated council on the work done by roadside crews that are chipping and hauling debris from rural residences.
In October, MOPC committed to contracting local and out-of-province companies for the roadside collection of trees and brush brought down by Hurricane Fiona on September 23 and 24th.
It is estimated that the work will take about a month to be completed and cost about $1 million. The MOPC will apply to the federal government’s disaster relief fund to get reimbursed for the costs.
“We started on Friday, October 28, with one crew in District 2 who will continue to work there due to the high material concentration. They have a lot of work to do there,” Hale said.
The chipper in District 2, which includes the Little Harbour area, can blow chips in the wooded areas, reducing hauling time. Smaller loaders are also being used to access the area’s many lanes and private roads.
A grinder will work in District 3, the Caribou area, which will haul material away, and grapplers started cleaning other districts this week. The MOPC provides an updated list of roads expected to be cleaned up daily on its website www.munpict.ca
and its social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Hale said the process has its challenges, but progress is being made, and he is confident that more ground will be covered now that more equipment is available. He understands that people would like a detailed schedule for when crews will be in their areas, but this is difficult to do because many things can affect the crew’s workday.
For example, a crew can spend an entire day on a small lane with considerable roadside material. At the same time, another can get a dozen roads done because fewer items are out for collection. Equipment repairs or maintenance might also need to be done, which can slow down the process, but there is one thing that people can do to help, he said, and that is making sure all their items are out for collection at one time.
“Once we go by a home, we have been seeing people bring more material out,” he said. “This is making it more difficult in terms of time and efficiency. I would discourage that as much as possible.”
There has been considerable behind-the-scenes planning to get his work started, including having people register their roads for collection, mapping the routes, and daily collection scheduling. Council has stressed from the beginning that it will take time to reach everyone, and with patience, it will get done.
Hale said crews work 11-hour days, and the MOPC tracks their locations to determine which roads have been completed. If someone feels their collection has been missed and their road has been completed, they can contact the MOPC at 902-485-2238 or 902-485-2247 to report it.
Tips for roadside collection:
Brush and trees can be placed at the end of your driveway or ditch in front of your property.
If crews can see them, they will attempt to collect them.
Equipment can handle large pieces of trees. If you can get it to the end of your driveway, we will do our best to collect it.
Put all your items out at once, so crews only need to visit a location one time.