Leaves and grass clippings in drains cause flooding issues in Martin

Leaves and grass clippings in drains cause flooding issues in Martin

By BRAD GASKINS News Editor MARTIN — The city of Martin’s public works department is reminding residents not to use the storm drains to dispose of leaves, grass clippings and trash. “It would sure help if people would bag their leaves and especially not blow grass clippings in the streets,” Public Works Director Billy Wagster said. “The grass clippings get down in the storm drains and just lay in the bottom of the pipes and eventually clog them up. “If people would just pay attention and blow the grass clippings back in their yards, instead of out on the sidewalks, it would be a tremendous help.” When heavy rains move through the area, as was the case last week, those clogged drains can cause flooding issues on city streets. “As much rain as we’ve had this spring, it just washes it down in the storm drains and stops them up,” Wagster said. “We clean drains all during the day on the days that it rains. We also have to clean prior to and then after a rain. It keeps the whole bunch busy.” Crews are needed at nearly every intersection just to clear away debris from the drains. Wagster said the city is now at a bit of a disadvantage because it does not have vacuum trucks to pick up leaves piled at the sides of roads. Those leaves were then hauled to the landfill. “We no longer have a landfill,” Wagster said. “They all have to be bagged now. That’s part of the Barker Brothers contract to pick up bagged leaves. They don’t have any means of picking up loose leaves. Folks just don’t rake them anymore. They pile them up on the street, and then they wash in the storm drain.” Ordinances are on the books dealing with keeping debris off the sidewalks and out of the streets.

Published in The WCP 4.16.13

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