Monday’s storm wreaked havoc across 3 states. Here are some tips for safe clean up and disposal of yard waste.
The storm that swept through much of Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana on Monday, August 10, has left quite a wide swath of destruction in its wake. This type of storm is called a derecho and features long straight lines of hurricane-force winds, heavy rain, and is very fast-moving. With over 100-mile hour winds and torrential rain, the storm broke and uprooted trees, damaged homes and buildings, flattened crops, and generally wreaked havoc across the Midwest.
Power outages were widespread and are still ongoing, with over 1 million outages reported across the affected states. Utility crews are working 24/7 to restore power to customers, with crews returning from out east, as well as crews from other states coming in to help. Utility and cleanup crews are focused on clearing critical infrastructure and roadways first but are working hard to get to everyone. The cleanup from this storm will likely take weeks, if not months. With so much tree debris, municipalities in the Quad Cities Metro area have relaxed yard waste collection rules to deal with the huge amount of damage caused by the storm. In Bettendorf and Davenport, city officials have given these guidelines for yard waste:
- Tree limbs and branches should be cut into 5-foot lengths, but they do not need to be tied or bundled together (though if you can do that, it’s helpful).
- Please stack tree limbs and branches as neatly as possible at your regular collection point.
- All other yard waste should be packed into kraft paper bags, and you do not need to have stickers for them.
- Please be patient: the cleanup from this storm is going to take weeks, pickup crews will get to your home as soon as they can.
- Be aware that lineups at the composting facility are very long right now, and if you don’t want to wait, please pile up debris for regular disposal pickup.
Clean Up Your Yard, Safely After a storm like this, it can feel like you need to get out into the yard as soon as you can and start hauling away branches and cleaning up immediately. While it is important to clean up, you want to make sure you do it safely. Before you start chopping up downed tree branches, assess the whole situation, and check for any immediate hazards like downed power lines.
- Report downed wires or power lines immediately and stay away from them.
- Inspect downed limbs and branches from a safe distance before starting to clean up.
- If you have entire trees down, call an arborist and keep everyone away from the trees, as they pose additional dangerous conditions before and during removal.
- Stay away from standing water as you never know what may have caused it, whether its flash flooding or if a storm drain cover or grate has been dislodged. Standing water also has the potential to be contaminated, so wash your hands carefully if you come into contact with flooding. Report standing water to local authorities.