Burbank cleans up storm debris

first_imgBURBANK – Using bulldozers and dump trucks, city workers on Tuesday cleared away mud, muck and rocks that swept down Country Club Drive a day earlier during a powerful thunderstorm. While the flash flood damaged no houses, it tossed around cars and left residents shoveling and hosing mud away from their driveways. “Start sandbagging. Start sandbagging,” said Tim Coggins, 77, a retired aerospace engineer who has lived on the street more than 40 years and has seen previous floods. “If we get rains like we had yesterday, man, it’s going to come down like a herd of turtles.” More than 1.5 inches of rain fell Monday in Burbank, a record for the date, the National Weather Service said. Bill Vick, 88, a 55-year resident, said the mudslide didn’t bother him much. He stuck it out through last month’s wildfires that burned more than 11,000 acres and won’t budge if more rain comes. “We’ve had it so many times before. It’s just routine to me,” said Vick, puffing on a pipe outside his home as a stream of water trickled down the road. “It was a little different than most of the floods, in that there was so much solid debris. It came in big gulches, like it was spit out.” Resident Diana Rios blamed the river of debris on an upstream debris basin that she said had not been cleaned. “Some of the people are very concerned that this could have been totally avoidable because there’s a flood control basin up there that they’re supposed to clean out,” she said. Officials said the debris basins protecting Country Club Drive had been cleaned. The basins were simply overwhelmed by heavy rain dropping onto burned-off hillsides, they said. “The debris basins worked exactly as they were supposed to,” said Bonnie Teaford, Burbank’s Public Works interim director. “They were not overflowing. They were holding back debris and letting water out. That’s what they’re supposed to do.” The city owns four small debris basins elsewhere for which officials are trying to get an environmental permit from the state Department of Fish and Game so they can clean them out, Teaford said. None of those affected Country Club Drive, officials said. Jason Kandel, (818) 546-3306 [email protected] Burbank residents may pick up sandbags at the city Public Works Yard, at 124 S. Lake St. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week On narrow, curvy Country Club Drive, the water ran off Verdugo Mountains hillsides denuded by a brush fire less than three weeks ago. The water shoved a Honda Civic onto a curb and stuffed branches and mud beneath it. Farther up the road a Mercedes-Benz sedan sat halfway into the street. Up to 20 homes were without water for much of Tuesday because a boulder brought down by the flash flood sheared off a fire hydrant, allowing 30,000 gallons of water to drain out of two storage tanks. “A big boulder hit it, broke it off clean,” said Pete Marshall, a water supervisor for Burbank Water and Power. “(Residents) have been roughing it. But they’ll be in service here pretty quick.” Residents had been barred late Monday from driving up or down the road. Officials put in lighted barricades near mud piles and re-opened the road to residents’ vehicles late Tuesday. Coggins said the flash flood was nothing new for his neighborhood because the street functions as a drainage channel in storms. He’s got his backyard sandbagged and in the early 1960s installed a wall between the road and his driveway after a woman died when a flood swept her down the street. last_img

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