Derecho Clean Up Continues in Jacksonville

By Benjamin Cox on July 11, 2023 at 2:27pm

Clean up efforts in the City of Jacksonville from the June 29th derecho remain ongoing.

Morgan County Emergency Management Coordinator Phil McCarty says that if you want to get your debris from your trees picked up, to get it to the curb as soon as possible: “The main thing is to get to the curb. Don’t put it around a sign. Don’t put it on your I3 [broadband] box if it’s front of your house. Don’t put it on a stop box, which is that metal thing for your water coming into your house. Put it right on the curb, even if it’s a little bit on the sidewalk. It’s okay. The closer to the curb makes this process faster, so we can get around and get it picked up. It doesn’t have to be pretty or anything like that. Just get it to the curb as best as you can.”

McCarty did dispel a few rumors for the Jacksonville City Council last night at their regular meeting. McCarty confirmed that both the City of Jacksonville and Morgan County did officially issue a disaster proclamation on July 3rd. McCarty says while both government entities have not utilized all of the pieces at their disposal under the proclamation like other nearby municipalities and governments did in the aftermath of the derecho, both local governments wanted to issue those official declarations to have proper paperwork on file in case both State and Federal disaster proclamations were issued in order to secure emergency services and funding locally.

McCarty says due to the amount of work and resources put into the clean up so far, the City of Jacksonville has taken a direct loss of at least $300,000 so far.

McCarty says those resources are still working, including members of the Streets and Utilities Department, the Illinois Department of Transportation, and work crews from the Illinois Department of Corrections.

McCarty wants to remind citizens to be on the lookout for clean up crews in their neighborhood: “If you see the trucks in the street, you need to avoid that area. Give those guys an opportunity to work. We don’t want you driving by and have one of our backhoes or get caught behind one of our loaders or trucks when they are trying to back up. We don’t want them to back into you. If you see them on your street, just give us a minute. We don’t spend a lot of time on most streets and just keep moving, but if we have to work around your car, it takes us a lot longer.”

McCarty says while no hard cut off date on pick up of storm debris has been set at this time, he would like to have clean up and recovery efforts completed by the end of the month.