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Storm Prep: Leaf Piles Could Clog Drains

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

A city utility worker clears a gutter on 21st Street and 3rd Ave.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

In advance of expected storms, the City of Sacramento has some advice about keeping your leaf piles and gutters unclogged.

 The City of Sacramento's leaf pickup program started earlier this season - in mid-October - partly because some tree species dropped leaves earlier due to the drought.

During storms, uncollected leaf piles in city streets could clog gutters and storm drains.

Erin Treadwell with the city's Recycling and Solid Waste Division has two suggestions if you're concerned about leaf piles blowing away or clogging drains.

"If you have a leaf pile out on your street, see that there is water that can get from the gutter down to the storm drain," says Treadwell. "Another option is if you wish to pull the pile up onto your lawn until the storm is over, then move it back."

Treadwell says the city typically picks up 27,000 tons of yard waste during a leaf season.

More than half of that comes from yard waste containers - which are picked up weekly.

The leaf collection ends January 31. 

Sacramento County Emergency Response

The Sacramento County Department of Transportation says its crews "are available 24/7 for emergency response to clear roadways, remove fallen trees, repair streetlights, fix traffic signal malfunctions and keep traffic moving safely.”

The county says it posts information about flooded roads at: http://www.sacdot.com/closures/Pages/default.aspx 

Roadway issues listed below by calling 311 (or 875-4311) or reporting online at http://www.311.saccounty.net.  

You can also report with a 311 app on your phone: http://www.311.saccounty.net/Pages/Default.aspx

Fallen Trees and Branches:

During severe weather conditions, crews may clear just the material in the roadway and move on to the next incident. Additional cleanup work is performed when crews have handled all incidents that require immediate attention.

Please note: Trees or branches that fall on private roads or property are the responsibility of the property owner. Property owners should contact a private tree service for fallen trees or branches on private property.

Flooded Roads:

Crews respond immediately to flooded roads and attempt to clear what is causing the problem right away. If the flooded road cannot be cleared, signage will be placed to close the road and maintenance crews will work to continue to clear the roadway.   

Plugged Culverts:

(A tunnel carrying a stream or open drain under a road or railroad.) If a culvert is plugged, SACDOT crews will flush the culvert until it’s clear. 

Traffic Signal Out:

Technicians are dispatched immediately to make repairs to traffic signals that are out or malfunctioning.

Downed Street Signs and Stop Signs:

Street signs will be replaced as soon as possible. Downed stop signs are a priority and SACDOT's goal is to have them back up within two hours of notification.

Street Light Out:

When reporting a problem, have the pole number or property address available. The pole number can be found on a sticker approximately 8 feet high, usually on the traffic side of the pole.  

Plugged Storm Drains: 

Call the Department of Water Resources (875-RAIN), who will dispatch a crew with hand augers or a vacuum truck to dislodge and remove leaves and/or other debris from the drain.  


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