Shawnee Mission area cities organizing storm debris pick ups, preparing for possibility of another round of snow

Thousands of pounds of downed branches are piling up in area yards as clean up from the weekend storms continues.

KCP&L has restored power to nearly 100,000 customers left in the dark by Winter Storm Gia. But more than 20,000 customers — thousands of them in the Shawnee Mission area — are still without power three days later.

The utility announced on Monday afternoon that it now looks like it will be Thursday before it can reconnect power to all of the current outages. And, unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Mother Nature is going to be doing utility crews any favors.

The current forecast shows light snow and icy drizzle as possibilities for Wednesday and Thursday, with the National Weather Service in Kansas City warning that it could make for a slick commute Thursday morning. And another round of heavier snow make be in the offing for Friday and Saturday.

“Accumulating snow Fri into Sat is still possible, with dangerously cold temperatures to follow,” NWS wrote on its Twitter account Tuesday morning.

Those forecasts have led some area cities to hold off on finalizing storm debris collection plans. The city of Shawnee announced yesterday that it would wait to see what the weekend brings before setting dates and times for a debris drop-off site.

“We’ve been taking a close look at the forecasts that are calling for more rounds of winter weather in the next week,” said Shawnee Communications Manager Julie Breithaupt. “Because of that, we WILL open the storm debris drop-off site but we are going to wait until these systems move through before deciding the dates and hours. Thank you for your patience and we will announce the dates and hours next week.”

Similarly, Lenexa is keeping an eye on the weekend weather before setting up drop-off sites.

“With more snow in the forecast later this week and our crews still working to clean up from this storm, we are waiting to make a decision about tree limb dropoff until the next snow storm has passed,” the city wrote on Twitter Monday.

Leawood, as well, is anticipating additional weather this weekend, and will offer a pick up once it’s over.

“Due to more storms predicted for this week, we anticipate beginning pick up on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019,” said the city’s public works department. “More detailed information will be given on pick-up operations as soon as available. Our first priority is to maintain street access and plow operations. Once we are into the pick-up operations limbs and bundles will need to be under 6 feet in length and placed at the curbside.”

Overland Park is moving forward with the opening of two debris drop-off sites starting. The Young’s Pool parking lot, 8421 W. 77th Street, and the St. Andrews Golf Club parking lot, 11099 W. 135th Street, will open for debris drop-off today at noon.

“Drop-off sites will close at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday. After Tuesday, the sites will be open from 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. daily through January 27,” said Overland Park’s Meg Ralph. “Hours and dates will be contingent on weather. Closures will be posted on the city’s website and social media platforms.

Overland Park residents must provide proof of residency to use the drop-off sites. Commercial vehicles are not permitted to drop off debris at Overland Park’s sites.

Meanwhile, Fairway and Prairie Village — two of the hardest hit cities in the area — are working with waste collection providers to arrange for curbside pick-up of debris.

“In order to give residents time to clean up storm debris and place it at the curb, the City will start collecting brush next week,” Fairway said in a message to residents yesterday. “A more detailed schedule by ward will be announced later this week. The City anticipates bringing in crews from the City’s tree service provider to help with the removal (similar to the storms in the summer of 2017). This schedule is subject to change based on the potential for another significant storm later this week.”

Prairie Village will be offering a special collection for large branches starting next week:

The City of Prairie Village is coordinating curbside limb pick up with Republic Services and Arbor Masters. This plan is subject to change depending on circumstances and/or weather impacts. We will provide any updates as they become available.

Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 15, Republic Services will pick up smaller fallen limbs on resident’s regularly scheduled trash day. Residents should tie limbs into bundles no more than four feet in length, less than 18 inches in circumference, and less than 50 pounds. Individual branches within the bundle cannot be more than 3 inches in diameter. Bundles should be placed at the curbside.

Arbor Masters will collect larger limbs that exceed the size specified above beginning Monday, Jan. 21. The limbs must be cut into sections not exceeding 10 feet in length. Limbs must be stacked in the front yard as close to the curb as possible, parallel to the street, and away from street lights, utility boxes, fire hydrants, and clear of overhead power lines.

Roeland Park also informed residents today that it has a special pick up planned:

In response to the storm damage on 1/12-13/19, the City of Roeland Park will provide City-wide curbside tree debris pickup at no extra cost to residents.

Public Works staff will begin collections on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019 on the West side of Roe Blvd in the light blue area of the map below and work their way to the Orange section. Once the west side of Roe Blvd is complete, public works will begin in the Green section east of Roe Blvd, then move to the Yellow section, and finally the Purple section. Public works staff will be picking up tree limbs that are no bigger than 10” in diameter.

Staff will note the addresses of the limbs that are larger than 10” in diameter, and we will have our tree contractor pick up those larger limbs the following week.