Missing deadline in Ike cleanup will cost taxpayers Houston & Texas News Chron.com - Houston Chronicle:
More than a year after workers hauled away Mercedes Cortez's magnolia tree killed by Hurricane Ike's salty storm surge, crews were back on her street Thursday to dispose of a cottonwood rotting in a neighbor's backyard.
“It's bittersweet, but we know it had to go,” Cortez said as city contractors used a 120-ton crane to remove the dead timber. “It's kind of like cutting off one of your arms.”
Seventeen months have passed since Ike covered the island with seawater that killed thousands of giant trees that once provided a shady canopy above Galveston's oldest neighborhoods.
March 13 is incentive
And when the 18th month is up on March 13, the cost of hauling away all that wood shifts from the federal government to local taxpayers. That deadline is giving city leaders plenty of incentive to complete the cleanup task quickly. Today, meanwhile, is the deadline for residents to haul storm debris to the curb for free disposal.