Low lying areas prone to flooding around Poway held up through the recent series of storms, and much of the credit goes to the behind-the-scenes work of the Public Works Stormwater division.
Each October crews begin a three-month effort to remove overgrown invasive vegetation along creeks and channels. The Channel Mowing Program is done in compliance with multiple state and federal agency requirements with the end goal of protecting life and property from potential flooding in low lying areas and reducing fire fuels.
“On average, our Stormwater crews cover about 5 ½ miles of a very challenging and unpredictable earthen creek bottom,” said Stormwater Supervisor Bryce Geschke. “And we typically dispose of 30 to 50 bags of trash.”
The terrain was not the only challenge they faced this year. First, Stormwater was down two crew members – which is one-third of their usual six-person team. Then the star of the show – a track excavator outfitted with a special forestry mulching head – had four separate breakdowns. Stormwater crews quickly addressed two of the issues, but a third required waiting for a new part and the fourth required service off-site before work could resume.
Through hard work and teamwork, Stormwater crews scrambled to finish ahead of the regulatory deadline and – most importantly – just in time for the abundance of rain to safely collect and flow through the city.