Keep storm drains clear of leaves, debris

Poulsbo Public Works superintendent: Pay attention to storm drains in your neighborhood

POULSBO — A wind storm can easily clog storm drains with debris and leaves, increasing the risk of flooding and property damage.

Rain, and a lot of it, is expected to soak the region over the next seven days, bringing a risk of flooding in lowland areas.

“Drainage is likely to be poor due to falling leaves blocking drains,” the National Weather Service reported Oct. 16. “The most likely locations to see some flooding are low spots on the roadways and underpasses.”

Poulsbo Public Works Superintendent Mike Lund said early Oct. 17, “We have sweepers out right now and checking potential hot spots. As fast as we can clean stuff up, the wind can knock it down again.”

Lund’s advice to residents: Pay attention to storm drains in your neighborhood. If you see leaves or other debris on top of a storm drain, “grab a shovel and clean ’em off,” he said. “And let us know if we need to get up there.”

If a catch basin is flooding over, call 360-779-4078 during working hours. If it’s an after-hours emergency, call 9-1-1.

Street sweepers sweep city streets three days a week and every catch basin in the city is cleaned once every two years, Lund said. When there’s flooding it’s not because of the catch basin, which is designed to trap sediment as the water flows into the storm drain system.

“It’s because water can’t get into [the storm drain] because of leaves,” Lund said.

Meanwhile, during this week’s storm, Public Works will be keeping an eye on traditionally flood-prone culverts at 8th Avenue and Iverson Street, and on 7th Avenue near the Rite Aid. The culvert at 8th and Iverson is scheduled to be replaced in the next couple of years as part of a creek restoration project. Two homes on that portion of Dogfish Creek — one on 8th and one behind Centennial Park — will be removed so the creek is free to delta there, Lund said.

That stretch of Dogfish Creek has historically overflowed its banks — and onto the adjacent Public Works parking lot. “We’ve had two- to three-pound fish in our parking lot,” Lund said.

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