Tangled hurricane debris remains, frustrating some residents in rural Polk, Hillsborough counties

Many residents are still waiting for the debris from Hurricane Ian to be picked up from the curbs along Tampa Bay area roadways. Some residents in Polk and Hillsborough counties are growing frustrated.

Even though officials from several counties claim clean-up crews have most of the problem under control, there are still areas where piles of downed trees and branches line the streets.

Every time Ron Reintjes sits on his porch and looks across his well-manicured lawn, he sees a tangled mess of stumps, sticks, and branches.

"I thought they would have picked it up by now," he told FOX 13.

What makes it even more frustrating is that crews picked up his neighbor’s debris, but left his.

"They said it was too close to the trees, and they couldn’t do it. They would be back in a couple of days with a smaller vehicle," he said. "That was two weeks ago."

He is still waiting.

Almost two months after Hurricane Ian swept across Tampa Bay, crews are still trying to finish hauling off the debris.

"Most of the county has been completed, thus far," explained Travis Barnes, a manager with Hillsborough County Solid Waste. "We need a few more weeks to get to those remaining areas."

Barnes says Dover, Valrico, Bloomingdale, and Riverview are on the punch list.

In Polk County, they are scrambling to finish up, as well.

"We’re going to have 99% of it picked up before Christmas," said Ryan Taylor, Polk County Deputy Manager.

After the holiday, they’ll be using smaller vehicles like skid steers to move the debris to an area where the bigger trucks can haul it off.