News

Wind storm leaves mountain of limbs and debris for residents

By Dennis Box

The Courier-Herald

Let the cleanup begin.

Area residents and city staff have been digging out from under piles of branches and debris since the region was blasted by frigid, 60 mph windstorm Feb. 17.

The storm knocked out power to nearly all Bonney Lake residents and most of the Lake Tapps and the surrounding unincorporated Pierce County citizens.

The storm left damaged homes and piles of tree limbs in its wake.

The city's Public Works Department has set up two drop-off sites for city residents to bring tree limbs and small downed trees.

One site is at the Moriarty property next to Allan Yorke Park and the other is at Cedarview Park. Residents are also putting piles together around the city and the staff is loading the debris into trucks and taking it to Allan Yorke.

Public Works Director Dan Grigsby said the site will be open for city residents from about 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily until Monday.

“Once we are done,” Grigsby said. “We will arrange for a tub grinder to grind it all up.”

The ground-up trees limbs will be used on trails and may be offered to the public.

“It's good for erosion control and a mulch to stop weeds,” Grigsby said. “It's a little long with splinters, but once it's on the ground it doesn't matter.”

The city staff has been picking up debris from neighborhoods working north to south.

Grigsby estimated the storm will cost the city about $100,000 by the time the cleanup is completed.

Public Works employee Sam Roseberry, a longtime resident of Bonney Lake, said the storm was the worst “since the Inaugural Day storm in ‘93 and the ice storm in ‘96.”

Pierce County residents are not being offered a drop-off site, but are being directed to haul their branches and debris to a county landfill or one of the county's solid waste transfer stations.

The county said it would not offer the curbside pickup program that was offered in 1993.

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