Published: Jul 20, 2011 5:11 AM EDT
Updated: Jul 20, 2011 2:44 AM EDT

CAPE CORAL, Fla. - What started as routine canal maintenance in one Cape Coral neighborhood ended with piles of dirt lining the street.

NE 21st Avenue is just one road where the city started excavating dirt from the canals and leaving them in piles on vacant lots.

Some living along that street were fine with that part until they realized the mounds were still there several weeks later.

"They spent probably two or three days going up and down the street, and then all of a sudden we haven't seen anybody since," says Joy Boutwell, who lives in the neighborhood. "When they mow the grass in the fields, they just mow around it, and that's it."

Boutwell says the sight wasn't a big deal until it started to seem like the dirt was there to stay. She started wondering if and when the city planned to clean up.

"We asked that question quite a bit," she says.

Public Works tells WINK News it has tried to remove the dirt on more than one occasion but emergency work called their crews away.

"They came back, started work again, and then we had some flooding issues associated with some heavy rainfall, so they were relocated to another project to take care of that," says Steve Neff, Public Works Director.

The department says workers will be back on the scene to remove the piles, and hope to have the dirt hauled away by the end of the week.

Boutwell says she definitely won't miss the eyesores that have been uninvited guests in the neighborhood for too long.

"You don't know what's living in it because there's still stuff growing up in the dirt, and as long as it sits there it will continue to grow," she says.