ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - The removal of debris left behind by Hurricane Irma continued Tuesday, with Gov. Rick Scott trying to speed up the process by putting a deadline on municipalities to submit their cleanup plans to the state.
The governor said he expected all local governments to have their plans ironed out and sent in by noon Tuesday.
"We've got debris around the state," Scott said following a news conference in Hillsborough County. "I've asked for a plan today from every county -- this is a local responsibility -- of how they're going to get it done, when they're going to get it done, because we've got to get our tourists back."
Officials throughout the Bay Area told FOX 13 the deadline shouldn't be hard to meet because cities and counties make their cleanup plans in advance of a disastrous storm.
The governor's also asked for the plans to include an approximate end date which, according to local leaders, is harder to predict.
"Tomorrow would be great," said Sean Hannigan, Pinellas County Public Works' Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. "Basically for FEMA regulations we have 180 days to make sure everything is done. This wasn't a Cat 4 storm. We think have a pretty good handle on it, so it shouldn't be that long. Honestly, weeks to maybe a couple months."
Hannigan said most crews aren't able to say exactly when they'll hit individual neighborhoods, but they are expected to make two or three passes during the next six to eight weeks.
Homeowners should also know what types of debris are being collected in their area.
Hillsborough County, for example, is only collecting yard waste. Places like Tampa, St. Pete, Hernando, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk Counties are collecting all debris, but it must be separated into piles. Homeowners should also be careful not to pile items in front of fire hydrants, water meters and storm drains.