In the first significant rainstorm of the season Friday, a half-inch of rain had barely fallen by the afternoon, sending residents along Buena Vista Loop in Brookings outside to monitor water flow at the intersection of Alder Street and Memory Lane.
Within a few moments, leafy debris started to clog a grate of a culvert, almost cresting the top of the ditch.
The last time that happened was during a "45-year-storm" last Nov. 20, and six households on Buena Vista Loop had their homes flooded and ocean bluffs and patios washed away.
Residents Joy and Paul Carlin were concerned enough Friday to call 911. A city public works crew responded and quickly cleared the culvert.
A few hours later, the city of Brookings issued a press release and posted it on its website, asking residents who see flooding or drainage problems along public streets to report them to the police department, at 541-469-3118 and pressing zero when the message begins.
Dispatchers are available at this number 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Upon receiving a drainage problem or flooding call, the police dispatch center will contact the appropriate public works or emergency service workers to respond.
"We are requesting that all drainage and flooding calls go through this central telephone number so we can assure that the calls are handled in a timely fashion and that we can document that action was taken," said City Manager Gary Milliman.
"We are also asking that anyone who observes someone depositing debris, including grass clippings and leaves, into any roadside ditch to notify police dispatch at the same number,"
Milliman said. "This debris can eventually plug downstream drainage systems and cause flooding."