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Cleanup Crews Begin Final Pass

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After more than a month of picking up debris around the Sioux Empire, cleanup crews are making their final passes. And as the piles of tree branches begin to disappear, residents seem to be pretty excited about it.

This sound will soon be a memory for the residents around the Sioux Empire.

“Once we pass through your neighborhood and ultimately verify it with our verifier, we have no intention of returning,” said Director of Public Works for Sioux Falls Mark Cotter.

Cotter said Monday marks the beginning of the end of cleanup. For the next week crews will be busy cleaning up areas west of Minnesota Avenue in Sioux Falls. Then, starting May 20, they will begin their final passes on the east side. And to say residents are happy about this final stage of cleanup is an understatement.

“It's good to get the branch piles moved. We had a lot of trees down,” said Jessica Fischer, a resident of Sioux Falls.

Dave Severtson said he can handle the little twigs that are left littering parts of his lawn. It’s much better than it was before.
“We had branches all along the boulevard, and all along this street that were 4 feet high,” said Severtson.
And as inconvenient all the tree debris was, residents said in the long run, it could have been much worse.
“We lost a lot of trees, but we are really blessed,” said Edwin Limke, a resident of Sioux Falls.

Limke said he will take all the damaged trees he had over a damaged home, like others had. And for Cotter, the last month has been a whirlwind.
“It’s really been amazing amount of effort,” said Cotter. “You know, you really get a chance to see all the resources available at the state, the county, all of the private contractors and of course the city crews.”

If you didn’t get your debris piles out on time, you’re not completely out of luck. City leaders said branch drop off sites will remain open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.
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