It’s been one month since severe weather moved through Kingsville and the surrounding areas, and the cleanup and disaster relief efforts by the City of Kingsville and the American Red Cross are still ongoing.
According to a press release from officials at the City of Kingsville, the storm brush cleanup effort is now in the final phase of completion.
“In the days immediately following the storm (on June 6), our crews had significant assistance from the City of Corpus Christi and the City of Falfurrias,” the release stated. “Both communities’ crews helped collect brush from neighborhoods and transport brush away from the ‘Trash Off’ location for disposal. Kingsville city crews have spent the last four weeks continuing the cleanup.”
According to the release, the city has collected nearly 3,800 tons of brush from around the city and at the “Trash Off” location site on Sixth Street and Avenue B where residents have been dropping off brush from their homes.
Residents are asked to continue taking brush to the “Trash Off” location free of charge through tomorrow, July 12.
The brush drop off location will be open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
If residents are unable to take brush to the drop-off location, they are encouraged to place their brush in front of their homes and away from any fixed objects for pick up.
“Sanitation crews will sweep the city according to the regularly scheduled brush pick up schedule,” the release stated. “Any residents who miss the deadline for brush drop off or who have additional debris to dispose of can bring up to 300 pounds of debris per day to the City of Kingsville landfill, located at 348 E. County Road 2130, at no cost.”
At this week’s Kleberg County Commissioners meeting, Alex Garcia, Executive Director for the Coastal Bend Texas Chapter of the American Red Cross, gave a presentation on the organization’s efforts to provide support for the area’s residents following the storm.
“We distributed, just for your information, over 600 cleanup kits during that period of time to the families of Kleberg County that were affected,” Garcia said. “In addition to that, we handed out tarps, handed out shovels, Clorox wipes, gloves, whatever it was. In addition to that we had a disaster assessment team that was there that was taking down information saying ‘how was your house affected?’”
Garcia said teams of Red Cross volunteers met with residents individually to see which families could benefit from additional aid.
“We had 13 families that actually had severe damage,” Garcia said, adding that the organization had provided more than $10,000 in assistance. “So we are still helping them out on a regular basis.”
Garcia said the Red Cross also worked with Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery group and Catholic Charities, who were glad to provide additional help to the debris and brush cleanup effort.
“If they had debris (Catholic Charities) would help them remove all their debris,” Garcia said. “We had about 100 volunteers. All we had to do was collect everyone’s information, and all we did was gather that information for them.”
Included in the effort was the Coastal Bend Food Bank.
“It’s all driven by volunteers,” Garcia said. “At the end of the day, the more volunteers we have, the quicker we can get to the surface. Besides funding we are always seeking that type of assistance because the only way to be more successful is by growing that base.”
Garcia said the Red Cross helped the relief effort for a total of nine days before completing “our mission” and had volunteers from as far away as Oregon fly in for the relief effort.
“We were going to do whatever it was necessary for us to help get people back up,” Garcia said.