Staff with the cities of Sugar Land and Missouri City are beginning storm debris cleanup in the aftermath of Hurricane Beryl hitting the area July 8.

In a nutshell

Hurricane Beryl brought flooding and wind damage throughout the Houston area on Monday, July 8 causing downed trees and power lines. Roughly 1.9 million Houstonians remain without power as of noon July 9, Community Impact reported.

Sugar Land residents mostly faced sustained wind of around 50 mph during the storm, Sugar Land Mayor Joe Zimmerman said in an interview. City staff have been working nonstop since noon July 7 in preparation for the storm, and they began clearing major roadways of tree debris around noon July 8, Zimmerman said.

“Everybody's fully deployed; we're trying to get as much cleaned up as we can in the first couple of days to minimize the inconvenience to people,” he said.

The details

Information from Fort Bend County and Sugar Land state debris should be separated into piles to allow for pickup. Pile categories differ by agency.

In Sugar Land, debris should be separated into four piles and placed on the curb, according to a Facebook post from the city. The four piles are:
  • Green waste, such as grass clippings and leafy materials, in clear or translucent bags or reusable containers
  • Bulky waste, such as bagged material or items that can't fit in a garbage can
  • Vegetative debris, such as tree stumps, branches and brush
  • Construction and demolition debris, such as components of buildings or structures
Residents receiving services from Fort Bend County are encouraged to create six separate piles of debris on the sidewalk or along the curb of their residence or business, according to a Facebook post from the Fort Bend County Homeland Security & Emergency Management department. Fort Bend County officials will begin debris collection early the week of July 15.

Disaster debris can include:
  • Construction and demolition materials, such as carpet, drywall and furniture
  • Electronic waste, such as radios and televisions
  • Household hazardous waste, such as cleaning supplies and batteries
  • White goods, such as air conditioners, refrigerators and stoves
  • Vegetative materials, such as trees, limbs, brush and leaves
Normal household trash or garbage shouldn’t be included, according to the county. Piles also can’t be in the road or block storm sewers, fire hydrants or utility boxes, posts from both entities state.

Community Impact has reached out to Missouri City for information on debris removal and will update the story with information when it becomes available. Residents can report downed trees in roads or public right of way to the city at [email protected], according to a Facebook post from Missouri City.

What else

Meanwhile, limited telecommunication services and lack of electricity remains an issue for Sugar Land residents, Zimmerman said. He estimates most residents are still without power today.

“We're working with CenterPoint [Energy] just as far as we can. I've had a number of conversations; I know staff has had a number of conversations,” he said. “I haven't been pleased with a response; I just don't think that they were prepared for the event that we have right now, and I think they need to kick it up a couple of notches.”

With the city without power, its usual cooling centers at the Imperial Park Recreation Center and Constellation Field aren’t able to function at that capacity, Zimmerman said. View the list of open shelters and cooling facilities here.

What’s next

Zimmerman said he anticipates city staff to continue cleanup throughout the week, potentially through Saturday, July 13. Staff have also begun assessing individual neighborhoods for storm debris.

“We actually talked to an arborist, and the arborist told us, between Winter Storm Uri and then the drought, a lot of the bigger, older trees are stressed, and we lost some of those trees,” he said. “So it takes a while to cut them up and get them stacked and get them moved. So I think we could possibly be in this thing as far out as Friday, maybe even Saturday.”