Strong winds cause damage, drop power lines and trash buildup


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)– Monday was another day of high-speed winds across the region, some causing damage and trash buildups across El Paso.

In Central El Paso, wind gusts partially tore off pieces of a carpet business’s roof, which caused damage to a nearby vehicle parked out front.

In the Lower Valley, power lines were knocked over affecting hundreds of El Paso Electric customers.

As residents prepared for their trash pickup days, grey trash and blue recycle bins were seen knocked over parts of Central El Paso.

KTSM captured video of trash overflowing the intersection of Yandell and Boone, right across the Concordia Cemetery.

The City of El Paso’s Environmental Services Department said it’s expected to see trash on the streets on windy days, but advised people can help minimize the mess.

“What we’re asking our residents to do is to make sure for their trash bin, which is the grey bin, is to make sure its all bagged up before placed in the can which is a requirement asked for, but especially these windy days if it does tip over it stays bagged up and doesn’t create such a mess,” Nicholas Ybarra, an engineer and division manager with Environment Services, said.

Ybarra recommended El Pasoans skip their pickup day if it fell on an extremely windy day and they only had a half-full bin. He also suggested people could use painter’s tape to seal the bin and said it would easily open when the truck picked it up.

“Sometimes we have a little extra trash that causes the lid to be open but we ask on these windy days if you can do whatever to make sure lids closed to make sure it stays within the can,” Ybarra said.

Ybarra said truck drivers try to pick up knocked over bins and trash on their routes but said they couldn’t pick up all trash in the streets.

As for trash on state roadways, TXDOT said crews assist year-round in cleaning up highways, such as Interstate 10, finding full trash bags, tires, dead animals and furniture.

James McMillen, a Northeast El Paso resident, said he’s had his fare share of losing his bin on windy days. He said he’s made changes to keep his trash from filling the street.

“This last week, we have gates on the side of the house we keep our bins behind them so the trash won’t get out and then set an alarm at 4 in the morning to take the trash out, so just try to reduce it a bit,” McMillen said.

Environmental Services said residents can use its app if they lost their bin in the winds or if their bin was knocked over and a truck missed their pickup.

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