Story at a Glance
Hurricane Irene has generated more than 1,800 service requests for DDOT.
(Washington, DC) Crews from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) continue to work to remove downed trees, branches and debris from District streets and neighborhoods. The damage caused by Hurricane Irene this past weekend has generated more than 1,800 service requests for DDOT and the vast majority is tree-related.
“Our crews and contractors have been working almost around the clock since the storm hit,” said DDOT Director Terry Bellamy. “And they are cutting through the long list of locations with trees down as fast as possible and our goal is to get the bulk of the work completed by close of business Friday.”
DDOT’s Urban Forestry Administration (UFA) has generated more than 670 work orders as a result of the storm. Priority is given to street trees that have fallen on homes, cars and power lines, and trees that are blocking roadways; then UFA will shift its focus to storm clean up in alleys and other tree related storm debris. DDOT is coordinating with Pepco to address locations where wires are tangled in downed trees, and the department is also working to hire additional contractors to accelerate the tree clearing work.
“Destructive summer storms are not uncommon in the District, but what’s unique about Hurricane Irene is how many complete, large trees the storm toppled; older, healthy trees with full canopies that caught the wind and were knocked down.” said DDOT’s Chief Forester John Thomas. “It takes a significant amount of manpower to cut up and remove each of those trees and that’s what we’re dealing with right now.”
DDOT’s Street and Bridge Maintenance crews, using front end loaders and dump trucks, have already hauled away more than 150 tons of tree debris.
To report storm damage in public space please call 311. Trees and branches that fall on or from private property are the responsibility of the property owners. For information on how to dispose of tree debris, please visit dpw.dc.gov.
While IT and traffic signal teams worked to keep the city’s transportation system up and running during the storm, Traffic Control Officers (TCOs) stood posts at critical intersections across the District. As many as 85 traffic signals were reported out in the wake of the storm, and DDOT deployed portable generators and stop signs to as many locations as possible. As of this afternoon 11 traffic signals are still without Pepco power.
DDOT public space inspectors are also out driving through District streets to identify locations with damage to trees, signs and other public infrastructure. Again, residents can assist in this effort by reporting storm damage to 311, online at 311.dc.gov of by using the SeeClickFix application on their mobile devices.