Prevent flooding: Clear tree debris from storm drains, gutters before late night storm

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Salt Lake City residents cleaning up debris. (Photo: Salt Lake City)

There is still debris lining the streets of northern Utah cities from the Sept. 8 wind storm that uprooted trees of all sizes and broke branches off many more.

Many of the streets in Salt Lake City still have piles of debris from the storm piled up in the street, often in front of storm drains and gutters.

A rain storm is expected to happen sometime around midnight late Friday night into Saturday morning, mostly hitting north of Salt Lake City, according to 2News meteorologists.

Because of that, officials with the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities are asking for the public's help clearing the debris from storm drains and gutters.

Failure to do so could lead to localized flooding, utility officials warn.

Public Utilities Director Laura Briefer says:

Storm drains and gutters can become blocked during a rainstorm if a large amount of debris builds up within the drainage system. This can cause localized flooding and impact water quality. After last week’s windstorm and the lack of rain in the last few months, we are asking for our residents’ help in removing any smaller items that could impact storm drain inlets and gutters in front of their homes.”

The Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities says crews have been working long hours to clear all city-owned trees that were knocked down.

In a news release, the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities stated:

Residents can be a great help by removing any small tree debris, such as leaves and small branches, from gutters and storm drains in front of their homes and stacking on the park strip or placing in a brown yard waste bin for pickup on scheduled days."

Briefer emphasizes that folks are only asked to help remove manageable debris, and are not expected to help clear large city-owned trees, or "massive piles of limbs and branches."

Small debris can be placed in Salt Lake City yard waste bins to be collected by the city.

Residents can request extra compost containers for free by calling the Department of Sustainability at 801-535-6999.