Massive debris cleanup effort underway in St. Pete

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A tree crew from Missouri works on what Irma left in front of Julia Moore's house in St. Pete.

"Is it a mess? It sure is," says the 79-year-old, whose son, Perry works to get debris to the curb. "Everybody's been struggling, trying to get power back on."

Across town, Mayor Rick Kriseman announces some good news.

"Power has been restored to St. Pete," he says.

With him at the news conference is Harry Sederis, president of Duke Energy, who apologized for not meeting goals he set for power to be restored.

"We ran it to some unforeseen issues, and we weren't able to do that, and we apologize for that," he said. 

An IT system that allows the company to communicate with customers failed, Sederis said.

He promised a full review of the response and says there are plans to harden the grid and take more of it underground.

The backdrop for their comments was a growing debris pile near Maximo Park, where trucks dumped debris collected by city crews and several contractors.

City officials estimate that it will cost at least $4 million to clean up debris in the city, but they hope that most of it will be paid for with federal and state money.

For more information on how to organize your storm debris for pickup, visit