DPW working overtime to clean up city

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published July 22, 2013

After a storm ripped through metro Detroit overnight July 19-20, crews from the St. Clair Shores Department of Public Works began cleaning up the mess, with employees logging about 24 hours on the clock over the weekend to clear branches from roadways and sidewalks.

DPW Director Bryan Babcock said the first storm cell, which came through around 6:30 p.m. July 19, caused more damage on the north end of the city, while the storm that blew through two hours later hit the south end.

“We started Friday night working through those storms,” Babcock said July 22. “We had probably about 13 trees that were down blocking streets. We’ve been working all weekend long (and) we’re going to be working throughout this week to clean up.”

Babcock said the department first responded to a call from Talbot Street in the north end, where a tree fell on a house. Fallen trees also damaged two vehicles during the storm, but he said they were not aware of any injuries from the incidents.

“We’ve had well over 100 locations where limbs have fallen out of trees,” he said.

Randi Berris, spokeswoman for DTE Energy, said across southeast Michigan, 145,000 customers lost power from the storm, with 5,000 of those losing power in St. Clair Shores.

Babcock said residents can place large brush and tree limbs outside the day before their normal trash day and call Rizzo Environmental Services to have it picked up. To schedule a large brush pickup, call (866) 772-8900.

He said branches should be 4 feet in length or less, if possible.

“I’m asking them to be a little more lenient on things this week to try to help us out as much as possible, and they’ve been very cooperative with that,” he said.

And as for the DPW, Babcock said it will continue working throughout the city to clear up all the damage on public property.

“If we got reports of broken limbs up in the tree still, that’s a priority for us because we don’t want those falling and injuring anyone,” he said. “We’ve got crews driving around with chipper trucks. We’re doing all the cleanup we can this week.”