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City To Complete Clean-Up Efforts



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It’s now been a month since the devastating ice storm that struck the Sioux Empire, and if you take a look around; you can see just how much progress has been made in the clean-up process.

Of course, there is still a lot more that needs to be done. After the storm, the city began an organized effort to help the community recover called ‘Operation Timber Strike!’ One month later, the city says it’s time to wrap things up.

"You have to get ready. You do. This has been a phenomenal effort, but it's also been an expensive effort,” says Mayor Mike Huether of Sioux Falls.

Beginning Monday, May 13th, the city will begin picking up branch piles for the last time in neighborhoods west of Minnesota Avenue. The following week, beginning Monday, May 20; they plan to be finished with the west side and switch to the east side of Minnesota Avenue.

"Once we pass by that neighborhood, after that; you will be responsible to haul your branches to one of the free drop off sites,” says Mark Cotter, Sioux Falls’ Director of Public Works.

During this process, they ask homeowners and businesses to work together by consolidating their branch piles into larger ones. All the smaller bags containing other sticks and twigs should be kept separate. They also ask that all branches be cut into shorter segments. They ask all these things in hopes that the job can be done as efficiently as possible.  

“It's not efficient for us to come by and pick up those real small piles. Like, if it can fit into a small container; we'd really ask for you to either take those to one of the free drop off sites or just simply put them in your weekly household garbage,” says Cotter.

Though there isn’t much time left, the city believes that with the same spirit of volunteerism that we had from the beginning; the people of Sioux Falls will be able to get through this final pass.

"I understand that we have Mothers' Day weekend coming up. I understand that, but I think it's just a perfect opportunity to go out there. Help your neighbor. Help your mother. Help your grandma. Let's get out there and end this,” says Huether.

Once this process is complete, city officials say ‘Operation Timber Strike’ is still a working process. Workers still have to clear the drop off sites, which would take an estimated 6 months to complete.
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