Residents of Corpus Christi are still picking up the pieces after being blindsided by the historic winter storm that descended on Texas over Presidents’ Day weekend. Luckily, the Mayor and City Council have worked together to implement plans that support recovery efforts throughout the City.

City-wide cleanup is vitally important in the wake of severe weather. The brutal winter storm that passed through Texas resulted in extensive brush and foliage damage. Mayor Paulette Guajardo and the City Council developed a plan for cleaning up Corpus Christi neighborhoods after the damaging winter weather event left trees and other foliage with frost burn. The City’s certified Arborist recommended that people wait for two weeks beginning on February 20, to allow the vegetation to recover, after which an assessment of the damage could be made; the waiting period directive offers hope that the plants and trees would survive the major impact of the severe weather.

Over the course of the two-week waiting and assessment period, an off-cycle extreme weather brush removal plan has been developed to be put into action on March 8. This one-time collection of brush and plant debris will allow people to remove and clear any damaged and dead plant material from around their property and dispose of the litter. The City will collect any trees, limbs, bushes, palm fronds and /or other foliage damaged by the winter storm. While residents will have to replace personal plantings themselves, the Corpus Christi Parks and Recreation Department will be replacing all plantings that are normally maintained by the City that do not survive.

The Mayor has stated that any fines usually assessed to city residents for excess brush in debris on and around their property will be suspended until May. That said, the brush removal will help mitigate cleanup efforts that will take more time and effort than usual. Further, anyone who wants to get even more of a jumpstart on cleanup can do so by collecting what yard waste they already have and taking it to the open brush drop-off site maintained by the City at the J.C. Elliott Collection Center (which temporarily has extended its service hours for residents impacted by the storm).

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Written by: Erika Mehlhaff