WINK News ride along as Hurricane Ian debris cleanup continues in Lee County

Reporter: Michael Hudak Writer: Paul Dolan

WINK News was allowed to ride along as crews went out in Lee County to clean up the mess Hurricane Ian left behind.

The site has already handled 3,000,000 cubic yards of debris. And it’s not just from Lee County, surrounding cities have contributed a fair amount to the pile.

CrowderGulf project manager, Barry Lund, spoke with WINK News about how the process is going.

“We’re grinding mulch, and we’re hauling the mulch out as fast as we can haul the mulch out,” Lund said.

CrowderGulf is contracted by Lee County to pick up your construction debris, vegetation, and appliances. From there, they will bring it to a debris removal site and dispose of it.

“This site consists of three projects. This is Bonita Springs on my left,” Lund said. “This over here is Lee County, most of which came out of Lee County came from either the county roads within this area, and all came off of Bonita Springs beach out there.”

CrowderGulf asks that everything be divided into different piles because separate piles represent separate needs.

Piles of vegetation will eventually become a pile of mulch which will be taken to a nearby landfill, while construction debris is piled a mountain high at the location.

Barton Holmes, another CrowderGulf project manager,  knows that what they’re doing is a long process.

“They probably see our big trucks running up and down the road,” Holmes said. “But hopefully, this will just give some perspective in terms of the greater scale of the operation.”

Holmes just asks for everybody to be patient for the time being because it’s more than just a job to the people working to clean the mess up.

“Your whole life is now piled on the street. That’s an emotional scar,” Lund said. “It doesn’t go away until we can get the debris up off the ground and start some form of the healing.”

CrowderGulf explained to WINK News they will continue doing what is needed until the job is done.

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