Ahead of forecast rain, Salt Lake City asks residents to help clear drains of wind storm debris

(Rick Egan | Tribune file photo) John Maddox helps his brother Mike Maddox, remove the remains of the spruce tree that was blown over by the wind earlier this week on Yale Avenue, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. Salt Lake City is asking for residents' help to remove trees, branches and debris from gutters ahead of forecast rains.

Salt Lake City crews are still busy cleaning up debris after hurricane-force winds last week toppled trees and hurled branches into the streets.

While the city’s efforts are still mainly focused on hundreds of uprooted city-owned trees, officials are asking residents for their help. The National Weather Service forecast says that showers are likely this weekend, and city workers worry obstructed storm drains could cause another disaster.

“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,” said Laura Briefer, Public Utilities Director. “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.”

Small debris can be stacked in parking strips or deposited in brown curbside compost containers. Those needing extra containers can request them for free by calling the Department of Sustainability at 801-535-6999. Briefer cautioned that residents are not expected to move larger limbs and branches that fell from city trees.

For regular updates on wind storm cleanup efforts, visit https://www.slc.gov/wind-damage-faqs/.