The damaged caused by the June 29th storm will take us several months to cleanup and repair. The storm not only caused power to go out for more than 70,000 Fort Wayne residents, it destroyed cars and damaged many buildings and homes throughout the City.
After assessing the initial damage, I asked our County Commissioners to declare a State of Emergency for our area, as one of the first steps towards seeking federal assistance.
If you had storm damage to your property, please take the time to report that damage to the State of Indiana's Department of Homeland Security at www.in.gov/dhs/. Click on the link "Report Damage from Severe Weather June 29, 2012", in the middle of the page. So far, more than 100 reports have been filed by local residents – and it's important for more residents to report their damage to the State.
Many trees and branches were scattered throughout our streets and neighborhoods and in an effort to give residents a faster way of disposing of the debris we've established tree and brush drop off sites:
·Parking Lot at Swinney Park Pool
·Parking Lot at the Conklin Pavilion at Shoaff Park
·Tillman Dump, which is west of the park entrance on Tillman Road
·City Biosolids Facility on Lake Avenue near Maplecrest Road
Additionally, over the next several weeks, City crews will pick up debris that is placed at the curb – but not in the streets or in the alley. Curbside debris pick up is not part of regular residential garbage pick up. Crews from the Street and Parks departments, along with contracted tree companies, will pick up curbside debris.
A color-coded map is posted on the City's website, showing residents the status of debris collection in their area. Residents should consult this map to know when to place debris at the curb, www.cityoffortwayne.org.
In the hours after the storm ended, our City crews circulated through neighborhoods, removing trees and debris from the streets, fixing traffic signals and answering more than 7,000 calls that came in to our 311 and 911 call centers. Furthermore, City staff worked additional hours to keep our Cooling Centers and pools open to accommodate residents needing a break from the heat. I'm pleased at the efforts made by the City's staff.
I'm also proud of the efforts many of you made throughout the community. In true Fort Wayne spirit, our residents have a way of weathering a storm, then getting right up to working with their neighbors to do whatever needs to be done. Many of you assisted in this effort, by helping to clean debris and checking on neighbors as we dealt record-breaking temperatures, a loss of electricity, blocked streets and property damage – thank you for that.
On a related note, because of damage caused by the storm, we are postponing the Foster Park 100th anniversary celebration. The celebration will take place on July 27-28, and will include a Family Fun Walk, Community Picnic, sports activities, a carnival, garden walks and an Ice Cream Social; the Golf Scramble will be held in September. For more information, go to www.fortwayneparks.org.