UPDATE: Ice Storm Debris Clean-Up Pushed Back

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LANSING (WILX)-- It's been a month since the ice storm hit in December, knocking out power to thousands and leaving a gigantic mess.

Drive around any neighborhood today and you're likely to see a lot of the tree debris still sitting curbside, waiting to be picked up. Well, homeowners should get used to it, because it's not going anywhere any time soon.

It's frustrating, very frustrating," said Skylar Jackson, who has two large piles in his front yard.

"You have big piles, big limbs, everything all over the place," said Charles McCort, describing his neighborhood in Lansing.

Cleaning up debris from December's ice storm isn't going to be easy, even if it is piled nicely on the curb. It's been frozen to the ground and covered by the latest snowfall. Because of the winter weather Ingham County Road Department and the city of Lansing have no plans to start cleaning up the debris. It could take anywhere from weeks to months to get started on the clean-up.

"Weather will be the driver, We do want to offer a cost effective program," said Chad Gamble, Director of Lansing's Public Works.

"Our crews have been out doing winter maintenance , plowing and salting every day since the ice storm. When it did warm up we had to fill potholes. There just hasn't been time," said Bill Conklin with the Ingham County Road Department.

Both Conklin and Gamble are suggesting turning to others for help while they're tied up.

"We'd certainly empower them to contact their local church, their neighbor," said Gamble.

But not everyone agrees that homeowners should take up the task.

"It's very icy, and very cold out. Even some of the professionals that are out there can hurt themselves with chain saws. It's better to let the professionals take care of it," said James Fawaz with Outdoor Expressions.

When the crews do get around to it, in Lansing the branches should be four feet in length and placed visibly on the curb. The crews are only going to clean up once.

"We do appreciate the patience," said Gamble.

Once the clean-up begins, it could take weeks before crews are finished.

Meridian Township plans to hire a private contractor to do its clean-up, but is also waiting until the weather improves.


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