The temperatures might have fallen, but that has only allowed the mountains of tree limbs to climb.
By Monday afternoon at Swinney Park, pickups were unloading more limbs, branches and even trunks onto piles that towered as high as some of the surrounding trees.
While city officials couldn’t calculate how much spare wood was created during the windstorms of the past 10 days, it would be impossible to deny the amount is massive.
Frank Suarez, city spokesman, said the city lost about 500 street trees but noted that number didn’t include snapped limbs and branches from private property. The glut of dead wood will eventually turn itself into an abundance of mulch.
City and privately hired crews are collecting tree debris from neighborhoods across Fort Wayne. Suarez said some crews are chipping the wood on site, while others are bringing the debris to one of four drop-off locations in the city.
According to the city’s collection map, at www.cityoffortwayne.org, collections have been completed in some central and outlying areas of the city, but the vast majority of residents are still waiting for brush to be taken.
Residents who want their limbs gone immediately can take them to one of the four drop-off locations, Suarez said, but he understood that not everyone had the ability to transport sometimes massive branches.
Residents who want to leave limbs for city crews are encouraged to leave them on the curb so as not to disrupt traffic. City crews will not go on private property to remove fallen trees.
By Thursday a separate contractor will begin grinding the tree debris at the city’s three parks now collecting limbs. The fourth site, the biosolids facility on Lake Avenue, will handle its own debris.
Suarez said that contractor will not be paid, but instead will be allowed to keep all the mulch it makes from the trees.
City officials are expected to present an update of the storm and its costs to the City Council this evening.