City of Austin crews cleaning up debris ahead of expected storms

AUSTIN (KXAN) - With heavy downpours in the forecast, Watershed Protection Department crews are cleaning up as much as possible across town ahead of the rain. Tuesday, crews took some preventative measures that included protection against erosion on construction sites and collecting debris from sewer drains and creeks.

Leaves and tree branches were just some of the items crews fished out of West Bouldin Creek in the Woodview mobile home community. Residents who live in the community say they depend on the pre-storm cleanup to make sure debris doesn't pile up and block their exit.

"You come and go right there," one resident said pointing to the small low-lying bridge on West Bouldin Creek.

Another resident says she worries about flooding whenever a storm comes through.

"Every time!" resident Candelaria Aguilera exclaimed. "Every time it rains hard we just stand outside looking, hoping the water doesn't come inside." Aguilera says she's noticed more than just leaves and tree branches make its way down the creek.

"There's tires, shopping carts from various grocery stores," she said. "The current carries everything with it especially when it rains hard."

In 2012, the department bought 15 mobile homes located in Woodview near the creek due to flooding and relocated the residents to a safer place. A representative from the department says they have a couple of dozen problem areas across the city they have to keep up with to avoid any major flooding issues.

The Austin Resource Recovery department also helps with debris clean up and will provide special storm debris collection after large weather-related events such as Hurricane Harvey and flooding. A representative says residents can keep trees and bushed trimmed and remove dead branches.

Those who have a drainage problem can report it by calling 311. To report potential pollution, call the 24-hour pollution hotline at 512-974-2550.

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