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Storm cleanup continues in Grand Forks

Part of an evergreen tree toppled over on Jane Schjeldahl's property during Sunday morning's storm. (Sydney Mook / Grand Forks Herald)

Since Sunday morning, crew members from the streets and sanitation departments and the Grand Forks Park District have been at work picking up the pieces from Saturday night's storms.

"It's going," said city spokesman John Bernstrom of the cleanup. "It's a lot of work."

Cleanup efforts were originally estimated to take weeks.

"That's still looking pretty true," he said.

Since Monday, city crews and the Park District have hauled 172 tons of debris. Residents and other parties moved 84 tons, for a total of 256 tons of debris.

Bernstrom said crews have been following street maintenance schedules as they move through the city. The area between Washington Street, Columbia Road, DeMers Avenue and 21st Avenue South has been cleared and crews were working on the north end of town Wednesday.

Bernstrom believes cleanup efforts north of DeMers Avenue and south of 32nd Avenue will be completed by the weekend, weather permitting. He noted there are other variables that could slow down the cleanup, such as equipment malfunction.

Initially, the city announced cleanup would take a couple of weeks to complete.

The 17th Avenue South area has the most work to be done, according to Bernstrom, and the work will extend into the coming weeks.

Bernstrom couldn't immediately say when the last storm this severe was.

"We won't know until they're done," he said, but added that this is definitely the most severe storm so far this summer.

The storm even knocked out the Public Works landline, causing confusion for residents trying to contact public works about storm-related issues.

Bernstrom said the phone line is currently being repaired, but in the meantime residents can call the public information center at (701) 746-4636.

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