Rockport residents question why it's taking so long to pick up Harvey debris

City has contracted with only one company

ROCKPORT, Texas – They line almost every street in Rockport and Fulton -- piles of debris and tree limbs still stacked up.

The sight lingers a month after Hurricane Harvey roared ashore with 130 mph winds. But some are wondering why just one company is in charge of the massive cleanup effort.

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The owner of the Driftwood RV Park along the Coastal Bend has spent three weeks single-handedly clearing all the brush on the property.

“As property owners, we're just trying to get it to the street to make these homes livable,” the owner said.

He could take it to the Rockport transfer dump himself for free, but he's not capable.

His only other option is to wait for the city's contracted debris removal company.

Rockport officials contracted with Crowder Gulf just three days after the storm hit and they’ve been clearing brush since.

“They're up to about 60 pieces of equipment within our community, right now, and they're moving debris every day,” director of Public Works Mike Donoho said.  

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Donoho admits the process of debris removal is slow going. The Texas Department of Transportation got to the area on Monday, but its crews are clearing state roads before moving on to city neighborhoods.

Some in the town want to know why volunteer organizations can’t come in to help?

“The volunteers can come in and haul the stuff away,” Donoho said. “They have to take it to an approved dump site and it does cost money for people to go to the approved dump site.”

Only Rockport residents and the Crowder Gulf can dump debris, because it's not a landfill. The facility is only a transfer station and there's not enough space.

That would leave volunteers with taking the debris Corpus Christi, where they'd be charged $47 per ton.

Carlos Constante from said he doesn't want to wait to clear his debris, but he may have to.

“It's going to take a while,” he said. “Going to take months and months.”

While debris pickup is delayed residential trash pickup is not being impacted. Donoho said Republic Services is still picking up trash every day as long as residents put it out as they normally would.


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About the Authors:

Courtney Friedman is a KSAT anchor and reporter. She has an ongoing series called Loving in Fear, confronting Bexar County’s domestic violence epidemic. She's also covered Hurricane Harvey, the shootings in Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe, and tornadoes throughout Texas. She’s a California native and proud Longhorn who loves calling SA home.