Weather creates city problems

Marianne Gillespie
Two trucks pass each other on Truitt Avenue between Bradley Avenue and Hushaw Street. Water flooded the area from both snow melting and some rainfall earlier Thursday morning.

Even when the weather seems to be nicer for residents, Mother Nature continues wreaking havoc throughout the area.

While temperatures in the 40s last week were welcomed by residents, the frozen ground and drywells were not quite as receptive.

With some rain Wednesday night into Thursday, coupled with melting snow, the city had a few impromptu ponds on its streets.

A more unusual area to have problems was at Elm and Hushaw streets.

A few blocks north on Hushaw Street, residents could see the familiar problem of water collecting at Truitt and Bradley avenues. The water stopped just short of Hushaw Street at noon Thursday.

Mayor Doug Crew said the city is taking progressive steps to try to fix the drainage issue.

Last fall, the drywells were cleaned out, but showed little improvement.

Running out of time before winter hit, Crew said the next step is to see if the drywells could be connected to better help with drainage. If not, a drywell may be added to the middle of the street, Crew said. It is one of the projects that could be resolved if the city issues bonds to address ongoing problems, he said.

“We know where the problem areas are, but it’s just a matter of resources and time,” Crew said.

The Public Works crew has kept busy this winter with not only plowing the roads from what seems like constant snowfall to fixing broken water lines in frigid temperatures.

Superintendent of Public Works Josh Cooper issued an advisement Feb. 17 that the city “strongly advises residents to leave their water running to avoid frozen pipes, even if their lines have never frozen before. We are approaching 4 feet of frost in the ground.”

One faucet with a small stream of water will keep water in the lines to avoid freezing, Cooper said.

“Most won’t have a problem, but if there’s any concern about freezing this would avoid it,” he said.

With colder temperatures forecasted for this week, winter is not over yet.