Storm debris leftover from Irma attracting rodents and snakes, neighbors say

Three debris companies are being investigated by the State Attorney's Office for improper business practices.

For many of us, Hurricane Irma is nothing more than a bad memory, but in some parts of the Tampa Bay area, the debris is a constant reminder. It's still there, rotting and decaying, more than two months after Irma.

Some neighborhoods in Hillsborough, Sarasota and Polk counties are waiting for pickup. In Rick Langston’s case, he’s taking matters into his own hands.

Langston rented a U-Haul truck and loaded up the debris himself.

“She kind of made me come do this,” he said, referring to his wife.

His wife's a Realtor, trying to sell the house in a Davenport subdivision.

“The people that were buying it said they're not going to buy it if they don't have the debris out of the yard because they don't want to be stuck with that responsibility,” he explained.

Polk County has picked up some of the debris in the same neighborhood, but even those lucky people are dealing with problems because of the piles.

“Our neighbor here across the street from us, they had a rat in their garage,” Cindy Staber explained.

She suspects the piles are attracting rodents and snakes because they’ve never had a rat problem before.

“We're in the very corner of Polk County, and it seems like they forgot about us,” she said.

The county said they empathize with these people, but they tell 10News haulers are working from dawn to dusk to get everything picked up. This map shows you all the ground they've already covered.

If you're still waiting for debris to be picked up, Polk County set up a hotline -- 863-451-3357. Remember, if you live on a private road or gated community, the property owner or HOA needs to fill out a form to let crews in.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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