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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Residents call for quicker debris removal
City says crews are working 'around the clock'
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City officials said that crews are picking up trash daily, though residents in the West End and other parts of Long Beach are calling on them to step up their efforts.

Though the restoration of power in most parts of the city was encouraging, many residents were still displaced, their homes or apartments dark and cold. And aside from the complaints directed at LIPA or FEMA or National Grid, locals expressed frustration with the ubiquitous piles of debris outside homes and businesses throughout the city.

“I live on Franklin and State Street, and no garbage has been removed,” Nadine Cohen Watts told the Herald last Friday. “There is no sign of LIPA or National Grid. I’m confused because first they said each and every home would be inspected, and now the website said we need to have our home inspected by a licensed electrician. So I ask, where are you supposed to find one?”

“Thank you, National Grid HomeServe, for wasting another seven hours of my time, bringing the running total to 14 hours waiting for boiler repair,” resident Neil Vogel posted last Friday on Facebook. “Not the courtesy of a single phone call, but rather telling me that they should not have scheduled an appointment for Long Beach because repair crews are not allowed in. Kind of strange since my street was filled with repair trucks. I am also tired of hearing from the customer service people that they understand my frustration — nonsense!”

Residents of the 500 block of West Fulton Street and other parts of the city complained about the lack of garbage and debris removal. Residents expressed concern about rotting food, roaches and other vermin.

According to the city, sanitation crews were working around the clock, picking up debris, bagged and bulk items daily, including weekends. City spokesman Gordon Tepper said that more than 60,000 yards of bulk material had been removed in two weeks, along with 4,000 yards of trees and vegetative debris and 1,700 tons of regular garbage. Refuse had been picked up everywhere at least once since the storm, he said.

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