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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The cost to clean up debris from last month’s ice storm will cost the City of Wilmington more than twice as much as expected.

According to a news release, the city has doubled its estimate of how much debris needs to be picked up. The city now guesses there’s about 100,000 cubic yards of downed trees, broken limbs, etc. The city says crews have already picked up more than the original estimate of 50,000 cubic yards with nearly half the city still left to clean up.

City staff blames backyards for the increase. They say original estimates did not include debris from backyards they could not see at first and that many residents are clearing out their backyards as they pick up from the storms.

The city says its contractor is extending its hours and bringing in more crews with larger equipment, but that all comes at a price. The additional debris removal will cost an estimated $800,000. That would bring the city’s total cost to $1.4 million. City Council will consider a resolution to approve the extra money at its meeting March 18. The money would come from the city’s emergency funds set aside in each year’s budget.

The city still expects crews to finish picking up the debris by the first week of April.

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