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City of St. Petersburg: Call sanitation for free hurricane debris pick-up

The city spokesperson said they will send over a city worker to determine whether it's hurricane debris, then a truck will come and remove it for free.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Cleanup continues in neighborhoods hit hardest by Hurricane Idalia and the devastating storm surge.   

In the St. Petersburg neighborhood of Shore Acres, which is notorious for flooding, homeowners are now tasked with figuring out how to best clean up the mess.

That includes Kathleen Looney and Kyle McClinton. The newly engaged couple spent the last two years renovating their dream home in Shore Acres, which was destroyed by flooding early Wednesday. 

"It got everywhere — in the closet, in the kitchen, all of our appliances are destroyed," Looney said. The couple said it would be easier to track what was saved from their home than all that was lost. 

"We've put so much time, money, and effort into this home over the past two years. So it's hard to see it torn apart," she added.

Across the street, Hien Nguyen was still working to dry his home, which he's been in since the 80s. He said this was the worst flooding event he had seen during his time in the neighborhood. 

Part of the headache for many who saw flooding in St. Petersburg this week is now wondering what to do about debris. People 10 Tampa Bay spoke with in the neighborhood said they'd been receiving mixed messages about whether the city could come to clear their debris for free, or they'd pay. 

On Friday afternoon, the city of St. Petersburg spokesperson stressed people do not have to pay for hurricane debris pickup —  anything from fallen limbs to flooded carpets. She said people should call St. Pete Sanitation at 727-893-7398. They will send a city worker to confirm it's storm-related debris, and then they will send a truck for pickup. 

Vegetation debris that can fit in your trash can should go there for pickup, according to the city. In St. Pete, all brush site locations are also open and residents are welcome to bring brush debris to those facilities.  

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