Wednesday, May 30, 2012

(San Diego) ENCINITAS: Grand jury faults storm drain strategy

By CHRIS NICHOLS - North County Times

The San Diego County Grand Jury on Tuesday urged the city of Encinitas to create a comprehensive plan to improve storm drains in flood-prone Leucadia.

"Leucadia's existing storm water infrastructure is inadequate to handle the chronic rainwater flooding along Highway 101," the jury said in a press release announcing its latest report.

Leucadia is a beach community located in the city's northwest, west of Interstate 5.

Low-lying spots along Orpheus Avenue are prone to flooding, and have led at least one resident to call the area "Orpheus lake" when the rain falls.

Citizens on county grand juries serve as watchdogs of city and county government. They conduct investigations and issue reports to which agencies are required to respond.

The jury recommended a project to relieve runoff that collects at Roadside Park, Leucadia's lowest point. That would require drilling a drainage outlet west through a bluff allowing water to empty onto the beach, the jury said.

The jury also suggested the formation of a special tax district to fund Leucadia drainage projects.

Reached by phone on Tuesday, Encinitas Mayor Jerome Stocks said the city would issue an official response in coming weeks.

But he balked at the idea that Encinitas should embark on a big fix, given the city's limited resources and relatively little rain. He added that the city has made smaller, adequate fixes in Leucadia.

"The city has definitely made incremental storm drain improvements and they have been effective, without question," the mayor said.

Stocks said crews have installed new storm drain pumps with grinders to prevent debris from clogging city pipes. The city has also required that new development include underground tanks to collect storm drain runoff.

"Is it the ultimate, end-all, be-all storm drain solution? Probably not. But the city has a limited amount of money and a truly limited amount of rain," the mayor said.

He added that the city received no flooding-related property damage reports after the last several heavy rain storms.

Stacey Siebert, who calls the area where she lives on Orpheus Avenue "Orpheus lake" when it rains, said Tuesday that a new gutter along the avenue improved drainage about two years ago, but seems to have stopped working.

"I don't really think it's all that (bad)," added Siebert, a sales clerk at a pottery shop in Encinitas.

"I think if they just took a snake and cleaned the drain out, like you do at home, that would solve it," Siebert added with a laugh.

Doug Coomes, owner of the Palm Company not far from Orpheus Park in Leucadia, said dealing with flood water "is part of life out here."

"If they (city officials) want to spend more money, spend it on parks. There aren't enough parks for kids in the city," Coomes said.

The grand jury's complete report on Leucadia's storm drains can be found at:

1 comment:

bodybuildingfactory said...

I think if they just took a reptile and washed the strain out, like you do at house, that would fix it," Siebert included with a chuckle.