Private Property Debris Removal Program Designed to Help Owners and Mitigate Future Flood Damage
Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – Hays County is encouraging property owners who live along the Blanco River to take advantage of the Private Property Debris Removal Program (PPDR), which allows large debris piles that impact public safety from two 2015 floods to be removed at no cost to the owner.
“County officials are concerned that if existing debris piles are not removed, another flood could cause additional damage if that debris is pushed into the river,” said Mark Kennedy, General Counsel for Hays County.
Hays County Precinct 3 Commissioner Will Conley said, “We are taking a balanced approach to proper debris removal and restoration of our river, keeping in mind public safety as well as the health of our river. Through an agreement with the nonprofit TreeFolks, we are beginning to replant native tree species along the river to replace those that were damaged and destroyed.” Two volunteer replanting days have already occurred along river banks where debris has been removed; for more information about the reforestation effort visit www.TreeFolks.org.
Judy and Dana Campbell, who live on Deer Crossing Lane near Wimberley, said they were extremely happy that the program was there to help remove an estimated 1,000-cubic-yards of debris. “We can’t even access the river with that much debris there, and there’s no way we could remove it ourselves,” Judy Campbell said.
Dana Campbell noted that after the Memorial Weekend flood a number of volunteers had removed debris and the property was just beginning to get back to normal when the October flood pushed more debris onto their property. “We jumped on the opportunity to have this great help when we heard the program was extended to include the October flood,” he said. “It’s hazardous and a liability issue and we can’t enjoy the river because of all the debris.
Simon Carlyle, senior manager with Tetra Tech, which is overseeing the debris removal program for FEMA, said that when wood and other debris begins to decay, property owners will be left with potential problems from mold, vermin, ants and termites that have floated down the river along with the debris or taken up residence in the debris pile.
“Our grandkids grew up enjoying this property and soon we can all enjoy it again,” Judy Campbell said as they watched the debris removal from a neighbor’s deck.
Any property owner along the Blanco River or a tributary who has debris that needs to be should visit www.co.hays.tx.us and click on the PPDR icon.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Will Conley (left) and Simon Carlyle of Tetra Tech examine the large debris pile left by the flooding of the Blanco River at a property on Deer Crossing Lane. The property owners are having the debris removed free of charge through a FEMA-funded program.