In response to the story ("Residents worry city isn't clearing debris from storm sewers," The Daily News, June 18): One solution would be to install screens at the drainage points.

These would extend beyond the ends and top and bottom by about four inches. These screens would be secured down with U-shaped nails, to a depth of about 12 inches.

The work would be done by the city of Galveston's Public Works Department.

The local occupants would have the duty to clear the drains after each rain/storm event.

It would be difficult to estimate whether the present method of cleaning the drains (using vacuum trucks after rains) than using the screens. We won’t know that until we try it.

I don’t believe that heavy fines on non-compliant individuals will work because of the possibility of people to be on a vacation or rental units not presently rented. There's a concept called “Mens Rea,” i.e., (in this case) intent to disobey the law. That would have to be established and would be difficult to prove.

Furthermore, it’s in the resident’s interest to clear the screens so the adjacent road won’t flood.

Stephen Hodgson



(5) comments

Bailey Jones

But if you screen off the drains, where will the feral cats and raccoons live? I kind of like this idea. But even with screens, it takes people who care enough to get out in the weather and keep them clean. In Harvey, while living on the mainland, I was up at 4 AM in more than knee deep water and Biblical rain with a rake clearing debris from our local drains to keep them draining at full capacity. It will be the same with these screens, but at least the clog will be accessible. You can try it on my street if you want.

Paula Flinn

I recently had my yardman pull up all the weeds growing in my gutter to make sure my gutter didn’t add to the problem of rainwater slowly draining. When people spread grass and weed seed by mowing, edging, and blowing their lawns into the gutters, weeds grow and the streets cannot drain properly after a rain. My neighbor and I are the only ones on our block doing this. I am 77 years old. I don’t need to be out there raking drains at the corners of the block, on property that does not belong to me. Some of my neighbors don’t even pick up the debris left on their own lawns. I do, and I have 2 palm trees in my yard to manage. Before this, the City of Galveston took care of clearing the drains. They sent out 2 guys who took turns cleaning out the drains and leaving the piles of leaves and other debris on the corners for another crew in a truck to haul away. The piles might sit out there for 2 or 3 days before they were picked up. You cannot expect residents to clear drains. It is the City of Galveston’s responsibility. Hire people and pay them well to clean and clear the drains and immediately haul it away. That will help keep the streets from flooding so much after a heavy rain.

Bailey Jones

We can (and should) have the city regularly clean the streets and drains, but there's not enough manpower to clean every drain all at once during a heavy wind and rain event when limbs and leaves are being blown down afresh and into the streets. In the Harvey case I was referring to, the streets and drains were clean of all debris before the storm, but after a few hours of rain they were full of freshly broken off leaves and limbs again. Many of my neighbors are elderly, so being a young 60, I grabbed a rake.

Gary Miller

I don't think the city can require citizens to perform public service work. I guess it could require 'subjects' to do it. Public service employees would file grievances to stop it.

Ron Shelby

Anyone caught blowing debris into the streets (Neighbors please use a cell to video) should be fined an ever increasing amount until they stop. That includes both the homeowner and the landscaper that they've hired. Between the 2, it will eventually become less of a problem.

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