City Responds to Aug. 7, 2023 Storm by Doubling Brush Pickup

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
[email protected]
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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City Responds to Aug. 7, 2023 Storm by Doubling Brush Pickup

Posted: 08/31/2023
City Public Service Department crews have worked long and hard to pick up tree debris following the intense Aug. 7, 2023, storm – 24/7 staffing initially, then extra hours daily for another three weeks.

Crews collected nearly 3,961 tons of brush in neighborhoods in a three-week period following the storm. The volume and weight – especially hefty due to chain-sawed downed trees and broken limbs – reflect the storm’s ferocity. The collection is more than double the 1,872 tons of brush picked up over the same three weeks in 2022.

“We realized right away that residents needed help – that this was a really destructive storm,” Public Service Director Chad Weth said. “This cleanup required extra resources. I’m very proud of our crews. They worked long days, and in each part of the city, the hardest-hit areas were prioritized.”

Mayor Indya Kincannon thanked the Public Service Department crews – as well as Transportation Engineering, first responders and others – for their quick and effective response during and after the storm.

“Our City employees work incredibly hard, and they always deliver,” Mayor Kincannon said. “That’s why we use the hashtag #KnoxvilleJobWellDone. It’s been a tough few weeks, especially for the Public Service crews – long days and difficult conditions. Great job, Public Service! Your dedication is much appreciated.”

The Aug. 7 storm was unusually short, intense and destructive. 

The rare summertime EF-2 tornado gouged a 3.5-mile path. Winds peaked at 130 mph. Almost 75,000 KUB customers lost power. A quarter of all the traffic signals in the city were knocked out.

Weth thanked all residents for their patience. Typically, the City collects brush in every neighborhood at least once every two weeks. That every-other-week pickup wasn’t always possible this month, due to the time and effort dedicated to the storm cleanup.

But Weth said he anticipates crews resuming the predictable every-other-week schedule, beginning in mid-September.

To see when crews will be collecting yard waste and brush in your neighborhood, beginning in mid-September, visit