Parents say storm debris is making walk to school dangerous

(WSVN) - For much of South Florida, the danger from Hurricane Irma has long since passed — but not in one neighborhood. 7’s Brian Entin investigates.

For 6-year-old Calvin and his mom Vicki, getting ready for school is the easy part of their morning. It’s getting to school that has become difficult … and dangerous.

Brian Entin: “You have to walk in the middle of the road?”

Vicki Scott, parent: “Yes, in the middle of the road. My son, we almost got hit three times. Three times!”

Take a look. In every direction from Orchard Villa Elementary, you see little kids walking in the middle of busy Liberty City roads.

Vicki Scott: “Debris is everywhere! They have to come clean this up for the babies!”

It’s debris from Hurricane Irma.

And for more than three weeks, it has blocked most of the sidewalks — forcing children and parents into the streets next to speeding cars.

Bonita Marlowe, grandparent: “I have to bring my grandchild to school and I have to walk in the street.”

Miriam Valdez, parent: “The other day, a car almost crashed. It’s crazy!”

It is pretty crazy.

Vicki Scott: “See what I mean. See what I mean?”

We walked with Vicki and Calvin to school…

Vicki Scott: “You are about to get hit.”

And saw the danger for ourselves.

Vicki Scott: “No, respect at all! I’m moving from here. I’m getting the hell out of here.”

So many of the sidewalks are totally impassable. And Vicki and the other parents say they have been calling the city for weeks trying to get them to clean up the mess.

Vicki Scott: “We have to walk in the middle of the road every day. I’ve called everybody. Tweeted everybody. Facebook. Everything!”

City of Miami Solid Waste crews say they have been working seven days a week since Irma — from sunrise to sunset.

There’s enough debris in Miami to fill about 200 Olympic-size swimming pools.

And city leaders insist that no neighborhood gets priority.

Brian Entin: “What do you say to the people in Liberty City who say they feel left out?”

Mario Nunez, solid waste director: “Well, we are working very hard. We are working as long as we can. I have to say during this interview we are in Liberty City today.”

That was Friday, and after we talked to parents crews did start showing up, hauling away what Irma left behind.

Still, the city says it could take another month before all the debris is gone.

Robert Williams, superintendent of Solid Waste: “We want them to know we are here to stay, and here to do the job.”

That’s a relief for Vicki and the other parents.

Vicki Scott (showing speeders): “See what I mean. No respect. No respect.”

They still have to keep an eye out for the speeding drivers, but at least now they can do it from cleared sidewalks.


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