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Cities Prepare for Big Rain Storm

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EUGENE, Ore. — With heavy rain expected this weekend, both the city of Eugene and Springfield say they’re on standby to respond to any flooding that may occur.

Eugene Public Works says when leaves get into sewer drains, then the chance of flooding greatly increases. It says it’s early in the season for such a big storm. In fact, it’s so early in the season that the city hasn’t started its annual leaf removal program.

“We’re not actually scheduled to start our systematic leaf program until the Nov. 12, so we’re still more than a month away from when we think the heavy leaf fall will be down,” said Eric Jones, Eugene Public Works spokesman.

But even so, an area just west of downtown Eugene already has leaves on the road and around sewer drains.

“(We’re) getting as much debris off the streets as possible. The good news is that there’s still not a lot of heavy leaf drop yet, so hopefully our storm drain system will drain,” Jones said.

Springfield Public Works is also preparing for the storm.

“We’re doing normal storm preparation, so we have crews out looking at storm drains, making sure they’re not clogged, and that’ll take a lot of water off the streets,” said Niel Laudati, City of Springfield spokesman.

Crews are also keeping an eye out for problem areas.

“Definitely the areas that are low lying, any areas that have had flooding in the past, we’re really checking those out, sweeping the streets, making sure they’re clear of leaves because leaves get into the storm drains clogs them up,” Laudati said.

Both cities say they have crews ready to respond to flooding, but right now they’re all on standby until the rain starts falling.

“In my experience of living in the community for 25 years, it seems like getting a couple of inches of rain in one day is a lot,” Jones said.

Street sweepers were out in Eugene Friday trying to clear any debris from the roads before the storm starts.

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