Debris cleanup from Hurricane Ian wrapping up soon in Charlotte County

Storm debris cleanup finishing up in Charlotte County.
Storm debris cleanup finishing up in Charlotte County.(WWSB)
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 9:54 PM EST
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PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (WWSB) - Months and months of debris cleanup in Charlotte County coming to an end soon. This is great news for residents, four months after Hurricane Ian made it’s presence known. Nearly 4.7 million cubic yards of debris has been picked up, everything from vegetative and construction debris to appliances.

“We’re in that way downward spiral now, the debris that we’re picking up everyday is so much less, that’s because we actually have to go out and find it,” said John Elias, Director of Public Works for Charlotte County.

Donna King and so many other residents noticing now, that everywhere you look, the debris is gone off the street.

“They’ve been moving along, it’s like every time I come outside, there are trucks going in and out,” said King.

After the debris is picked up by a contractor, it goes to one of three debris management sites. From there it ends up in a landfill. Brian Gleason is not only the Communications Manager for Charlotte County, but also a Port Charlotte resident.

“To not drive by homes including your own, that have piles of debris and entire contents on the side of the road that indicates that somebody’s whole life was turned upside down, it shows that we’re turning that corner and getting back to normal,” said Gleason.

Total cost of this debris cleanup in Charlotte County is around 150-million dollars. FEMA covers around 75 percent of it. State and local governments covers the rest.

“We want to thank all of the citizens of the county for their patience, we know that this has been a hard, long struggle,” said Elias. The contractor and the county has worked tirelessly 7 days a week. It’s our intent to get all this picked up and get everybody’s lives back to normal as soon as we can.”

County officials say this storm cleanup is expected to be completely finished over the next few weeks.