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City Weathers First Storm
Trees limbs came down, there were some brief power outages but no major problems reported as a result of the first winter storm, which blew through the area on Tuesday, Oct. 13.

The region got around an inch and a half of rain from the storm, which also packed high winds.

"We had an unbelievable amount of tree branches separating from their trees, about 10 flatbed trucks full of tree branches," noted Interim City Manager Doug Dunford. "As Public Works was picking them up, they were falling off their trees down the street."

Crews were kept busy throughout the community on Tuesday trying to keep up with the limbs, and spent the next several days responding to calls for service and cleaning up downed limbs and debris from city parks.

"One of the worst areas hit was right around the high school," Dunford explained. "Also there was one tree on Vine that fell over into a garage."

Another limb came down on a vehicle near the library and there were a few brief power outages reported.

"There was a minimal amount of flooding," added Dunford. "Hats off to Public Works, they had cleaned the streets prior to the windstorm."

Public Works Director Patrick Riggs agreed that crews did a good job preparing when they knew the storm was coming in.

"It's one of those times when the community has to pull together," he said. "This one came in with such high winds that we had branches falling everywhere."

Riggs said he was pleased to see community residents doing their part, cleaning leaves away from storm drains and said it will take that cooperative effort between city crews and the public to avoid problems.

"Most of the drains in the city are old so it only takes a few leaves to clog them up," he said.

The city does have a machine that can pick up leaves, so residents can rake their leaves into a pile and place them about 18 inches from the curb for the city to come and take.

Riggs said the limbs that were picked up following the storm will also be chipped up and residents can make an appointment to pick up wood chips, for free, by contacting the Public Works department at 838-4139.

Dunford and Riggs said the city's pump stations all performed well during the storm. Sometimes, when the rain comes too fast, the system can get overloaded but this time it performed well.

"The worst case scenario would be if all the leaves came down at one time," Riggs said of backing up the drainage system and overloading the pumps.

If residents take care of their leaves, there shouldn't be a problem, with Riggs noting that crews also routinely check the pump stations and try to keep the drains around the city clear of debris.

And he is always on the alert for the next weather system.

"I've got the National Weather Service map up on my computer the whole time," Riggs said.

Forecasters predict a mix of clouds and sun over the next several days, with no major storms on the horizon. That should give the city time to fully recover from the first storm blast of the season before the next one arrives.