Keep leaf piles away from drains

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – It's been raining now for a little more than 24 straight hours. Add a pile of leaves to a situation like this and you have a combination that can lead to a lot of problems in your neighborhood.

On Monday Pat Lupien tackled the fall season head-on....

"I've been waiting for this to happen because now I have to blow leaves on my day off," said Lupien.

And city public works crews started picking up the piles. But that was then and this is now.

"It's very slippery you have to be very cautious when walking cause there's a lot of puddles and the leaves are very wet," said resident Lindsey Aftel.

The signs of fall are falling into storm drains and drainage ditches across the region. We found neighborhood after neighborhood with leaf filled drains.

"The leaves actually impede the flow of water so of course that leads to flooding," said Angela Fountain, Richmond Department of Public Utilities.

Leaves were already diverting water around some culverts. And the wind is starting to blow around the piles already created in some neighborhoods. City work crews ask you to be careful not to block the drains with the piles. Leaf collection won't start back up until the remnants of Ida go away.

"We know a lot of times even people who are being conscientious raking their leaves and putting them in piles but as you said they may blow away and they may end up in the storm drains and ditches. If they could put them in bags we would really appreciate that," said Fountain.

If you've already gathered your leaves, keep an eye to make sure they don't start causing a back-up. In Richmond the leaf collection schedule for pick up will now be delayed by about two days.

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