Polk's Irma debris cleanup work may last until January

Most of us would like to forget about Hurricane Irma. It is very difficult to do that, especially if you’re in Polk County. There is still debris on the side of many roads.

“It needs to go. It needs to go,” Christi Flowers told FOX 13. “Get it out of the neighborhood because it makes it look ugly.”

On Monday, Flowers and her neighbors, who live off Clubhouse Road, got their wish. A massive truck with a claw picked up and hauled off branches and trees from the side of the road.

Crowder Gulf, the company that Polk County hired for the clean-up, has removed about 85 percent of the mess.

The total cost of the clean-up, which includes Crowder Gulf and a monitoring company, is a little more  than $34-million.

If the clean-up stays on schedule, as it has been, FEMA will pay about 75 percent of the tab.

EXTENDED COVERAGE: Two months later, Irma's impacts linger in Polk County

Crews have been working sunrise to sunset since Irma hit, a little more than two months ago. There has been more than enough to keep them busy: Irma took down 2.1 million cubic yards of trees and branches.

“We’re talking about 500 acres of land, 10-foot deep,” explained Jay Jarvis, who heads the county’s Roads and Drainage Division.

The county expects to have the cleanup completely done by January.