The 2 inches of rain Brookings received last week reminded public works, police and fire officials what a winter downpour can do in town.
Internet service was out for about an hour, the traffic signal at U.S. 101 and North Bank Chetco Road was dark, a culvert on U.S. 101 near South Coast Lumber on Carpenterville Road was flooded and downed utility wires knocked out electricity to the east side of town, which in turn, set off alarms at the city’s wastewater and water plants — during which city staff were giving a tour to a contractor that might take over plant operations.
City officials said this week the state Department of Transportation’s mowing alongside U.S. 101 contributed “significantly” to culvert clogging near Carpenterville Road.
ODOT couldn’t respond in a reasonable period of time to address the issue, so city crews took to the streets: police to slow and guide traffic through the pooled water at the bottom of the hill and others to try to clear the blocked culverts.
City hall itself was deluged again by water pouring down from Curry Medical Center, a recurring problem the city believes results from a malfunctioning stormwater retention system at the north end of the property, closest to Fifth Street.
“They have been notified repeatedly,” said City Manager Gary Milliman. “I have requested a proposal from our consulting engineer to evaluate and develop recommendations to resolve this problem.”