Competition for trucks, better pay from Irma could slow Harvey debris removal

Houstonians desperate to have their ruined living rooms hauled away before the piles of floorboards, drywall and couch cushions kill their grass can call their elected officials to complain, but may have trouble finding a working number for perhaps the main culprit: Irma, the former hurricane now working its way up the Appalachians. Many waste contractors who otherwise would have headed for Houston appear to have noted Irma's path and stayed put, hoping to benefit from higher pay and, experts said, an easier type of cleanup in Florida. The dynamic of competing hurricane recovery zones is complicating what already was expected to be a months-long undertaking to remove mountains of debris from Cypress to Baytown.