Austin has sent 17 workers to help with the massive job of helping Houston scoop up and dispose of the tons of debris left by Hurricane Harvey.
The workers from Austin Resource Recovery, which runs the city’s garbage and recycling operations, left for Houston on Sunday and plan to stay there through the end of the month, if not longer. The convoy included cranes, roll-off trucks, dump trucks, front-end and rear loaders.
The temporary reassignment of those workers means that Austin will postpone its October bulk collection service. The city has also scaled back its street sweeping operations until the workers return.
“We are eager to help our neighbors clean up after the storm and help them get back to normal,” Austin Resource Recovery interim director Sam Angoori said in a statement. “We appreciate customers’ patience and understanding with temporary service delays.”
Other Austin-area agencies have sent workers to help with Harvey recovery efforts. As the floodwaters rose in Houston, the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office dispatched deputies trained in swiftwater rescue to help pull more than 100 people to safety, while members of the South Hays Fire Department searched for stranded people in Katy. The following week, the Austin Police Department sent about 50 officers to Houston to help with patrols.
Workers with the Austin Transportation Department helped repair and replace dozens of traffic signals and signs in Victoria. And not long after working long hours to restore power lost during Harvey, about 30 Austin Energy employees hit the road for Jacksonville, Florida, where they are helping fix outages from Hurricane Irma.