Although storm debris from Hurricane Irma is out of residents' yards and streets, one park remains closed as the debris makes the last leg of its journey to the landfill.
All Hurricane Irma recovery efforts have been completed, according to a social media post from Sarasota County on Dec. 18.
The county has been collecting about 300,000 cubic yards of storm debris left behind from the hurricane that passed east of Sarasota County the weekend of Sept. 9. County staff estimated the debris would be picked up by early 2018, but the removal efforts were completed ahead of schedule.
Although storm debris is cleaned up from streets and yards throughout the county, three parks were uses as storm debris management sites and are still closed.
Rothenbach Park, located at 8650 Bee Ridge Road, held the most storm debris — about 98,000 cubic yards, according to a county spokesperson. That’s more storm debris than the county’s landfill received.
“This helped expedite the cleanup process, as the trucks could deliver debris to Rothenbach rather than traveling all the way to and from the county landfill,” a spokesperson for the county said.
The park’s closure has been an issue for the Sarasota R.C. Squadron, a radio-control flying club, which uses the flying field in the park. The club’s members expected it to be opened by the holidays, according to a post on their website.
Rothenbach park is expected to be open by Jan. 1, although some debris may still be hauled from the park after that fact.
In addition to Rothenbach Park, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, in Sarasota, and Buchan Airport, in Englewood, were used to hold storm debris.
The storm debris in the parks has been ground up, and is now in the process of being transported to the landfill. There, it will be reused if possible as daily cover for the landfill and to help with erosion.
The city of Sarasota finished debris collection just before Thanksgiving, and collected about 60,000 cubic yards of debris.
The county’s storm debris hotline is now closed, and anyone with questions about yard waste or other garbage collection can call the county’s contact center at 941-861-5000.