Rains, Drains and Automobiles

As the rains come back again, so does the flooding of Hilyard Street near the south university neighborhood. Since I moved here, people told me that it is just what it is, a natural occurrence due to the hillside. Finally, wanting to see for myself, and also wondering about the newly installed flood garden, I set out in the pouring rain.

Besides finding that some of the new measures work more or less, I found that the flooding is fully preventable. Even though storm drains are far apart and too few, especially along 20th and 21st, the large ponds and streams running down the hill can mostly be mitigated by simply removing the leaves from the drains. What I did by hand in the pouring rain can be done with street sweepers or gardening crews before the rain. A timely collection of all autumn leaves and debris from the roads is urgently needed to make our roads passable and safe in all weathers.

Arne Bruns