AS RAIN FADES, WINDS AND TREES ARE NEXT WORRY


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LA MESA -- Heavy rains continued Wednesday morning and so far storm drains and city crews have managed to keep the water largely at bay.

Greg Humora, La Mesa's head of public works, said crews have been keeping up with the problems so far and there have been no street closures or significant damage.

"Wind is our big worry now,'' Humora said. "With the ground saturated like this, we watch for trees that will go over easily in a strong wind. We have shallow roots in this area.''

Humora said the city has been trying to target weak and dying trees to avoid as much of the damage that can happen when a tree gets blown over, but rains like this offer challenges.

Since last weekend, city workers have scrambled to handle minor flooding calls throughout the city.
Motorists found usually dry streets had turned into dangerous, water-covered surfaces that challenged drivers, particularly those of questionable judgment who didn't slow down.
City workers again Wednesday were snaking storm drains along La Mesa Boulevard in the Village section of downtown where runoff was backing up and beginning to run down sidewalks.
City officials were also out inspecting the new sidewalk and street designs along Allison Avenue, which was handling the heavy rain well except in one area near the entrance to the Farmer's Market area.

On Mt. Helix, water began filling the traditional drainage routes but also was spilling over and running through secondary routes that only see water in the most extreme rainfalls. Water was seen pouring through retaining walls and down landscape that had been dry for years. (See photos above).

City sewer workers were also receiving calls from some local residents who were complaining of sewage backups. City officials blamed those problems on neighborhoods where residents had connected their property runoff to the sewerlines, which were not designed for this type of volume.

Humora said the sewer system is also challenged when ground water rises to engulf the sewer pipes, which are often old and allow water to intrude.
Rain was expected to continue through Wednesday evening, with a cold front and, perhaps some winds, to follow.

Meanwhile, local residents who braved the weather were walking carefully amid rivulets of water and dodging the occasional downpour.
If there is solace to be found, it is in watching what this storm is doing to the mountains to the north and east where tons of snow are piling up. That's our drinking water for next summer.

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Comment by Karen Pearlman on December 21, 2010 at 1:21pm

Drink up!

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