Hurricane Matthew debris cleanup about halfway through, officials say

434,000 cubic yards of debris collected so far in Duval County

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville crews have collected more than six months' worth of debris in the three weeks since Hurricane Matthew, city officials announced Thursday.

The original estimate was that 800,000 to 1 million cubic yards of storm debris was left in Matthew's wake.

So far, crews working 12 hours a day, seven days a week have collected more than 430,000 cubic yards of debris.

“I’m not asking people to be patient. We’re not patient,” Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said. “The first round, we asked that people had storm debris put out curbside that we could get in the first round.”

But now city leaders are encouraging residents to bag any loose, smaller debris to be collected by their weekly yard waste pickup to help speed the process.

“Are there going to be some homes that are going to be missed? Absolutely. Is there going to be more debris put out on the street? Yes, there will be. And they’ll just have to wait for the second pass to come through,” said Sam Mousa, Curry's chief of staff.

Curry toured damage Thursday in the Glynlea Park neighborhood of the Southside, which was one of the hardest hit areas areas in town, to take a look at the pickup process.

Residents who want to remove storm debris themselves can take it to the Trail Ridge Landfill on Highway 301, but will have to pay fees to dump it.

Curry also updated the status of the Jacksonville Beach pier, which suffered major damage during the hurricane.

The city had divers at the pier almost immediately to check things out.

“They’re out there diving, trying to determine the condition of the pier, frankly, trying to determine where the pier went, whether it’s in the bottom of the ocean or whether it floated away,” Mousa said.

City officials are awaiting an analysis that is expected in about two to three weeks that should determine whether the pier damage is reparable.