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City Manager's Office
City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Daniel Akagi, Department of Public Works, (510) 981-6394


Berkeley, California (Wednesday, October 30, 2013) - With winter rains approaching, the City of Berkeley will host a Nov. 2 volunteer event to clear storm drains, a simple act that can prevent flooding, improve traffic and give pedestrians clear paths to walk.

Volunteers at the "All Storm Day Event" will be given safety vests, tools and training to clear the drains. Bring work gloves if you have them. 

The volunteer effort will last from 9am to noon Saturday at King School Park, which is on Hopkins Street between Carlotta Avenue and Josephine Street.

Public Works maintains each of the city's 7,000 storm drains. The most impacted are cleared of debris, plants and trash more frequently in preparation for storms or in response to residents' concerns. Clean drains also improve water quality in the Bay, where they empty.  

However, residents who can clear drains can play a critical role. If a drain is clogged, heavy rains can quickly lead to flooding. Nearby residents can spot and solve problem drains before the City has time to learn about it. Residents who diligently clear out storm drains can participate in our Adopt-a-Drain Program, which offers a limited number of people with basic drain clearing tools.

Residents can also keep drains clear in other ways:

    - Observe street-sweeping days. 
    - If you see a drain backed up, call 311 or 981-2489 
    - If you’re in a flood-prone area, pick up sandbags before it rains from fire stations or the Corporation Yard. 
    - Report illegal dumping by calling police at 981-5900.

Last year, volunteers at our All Storm Day Event removed 15,000 pounds of trash, leaves and plants that clogged our storm drains and polluted our creeks. They made Berkeley a safer place in winter.

If you are interested in participating in the volunteer clean out on Saturday or the Adopt-a-Drain Program, email Daniel Akagi at dakagi@cityofberkeley.info


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