Dallas continues its recovery efforts following recent storms that swept through the metroplex, leaving widespread debris and power outages in its wake.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, the severe weather that passed through the area at the end of May caused widespread power outages that hit more than 600,000 residents. In Dallas County alone, over 350,000 customers went without electricity after the storms. Approximately 50,000 customers in Denton and Tarrant counties, as well as 75,000 in Collin County, also suffered outages and disruptions. 

City sanitation services have been continuously working since the storms to clear the debris that was left behind, reported the Dallas Observer. Dallas Department of Sanitation Services Director Clifton Gillespie told NBC 5 DFW that 160 workers are active six days a week citywide as of this week. The cleanup has cost around $8.3 million so far, with the city seeking federal reimbursement for the costs under a disaster declaration, reported NBC 5.

Despite tripling their debris collection capacity with additional contractor crews, only half of the city has seen the completed goal for debris pickups. The Department of Sanitation Services estimates that the storm created a staggering 400,000 cubic yards of debris, per the Dallas Observer.

“Crews are progressing through the City following the normal brush and bulky item monthly collection schedule, which typically takes one week to pass through each designated geographic area,” states a City memo shared with the Dallas Observer. “However, due to the volume of debris, it is taking approximately two weeks to complete each geographic area.”

Crews will do a second sweep of the city after the first sweep is completed. 

The slow pace of debris removal has sparked concerns among residents and local officials alike. District 9 City Council Member Paula Blackmon has been vocal about the challenges faced by her constituents, particularly focusing on power restoration for residents and general cleanup efforts. According to the Dallas Observer, she recently called for an investigation into the delays in East Dallas, where some neighborhoods experienced prolonged outages and a slower cleanup progress.

Blackmon said, however, “It’s going to take some time to recover,” per the Dallas Observer.

Oncor, the utility company responsible for power restoration, acknowledged the difficulties faced during the storm for many Dallas area residents, and the subsequent restoration efforts to help those in need.

“Throughout the storm, we communicated with county officials as well as city staff and council members and provided updates, as they were available. We are also in the process of meeting with individual city council members to provide a post-storm briefing and respond to any of their concerns,” an Oncor spokesperson said, per the Dallas Observer. “We recognize that any outage is a hardship, especially when it extends over several days.”

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Oncor officials had been hopeful that power restoration efforts would be largely finished within weeks of impact. However, due to the significant damage sustained in certain locations, the company needed to completely rebuild certain power lines and adjacent infrastructure.