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DPW Crews Clean Up Storms' Aftermath

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A front end loader hauls away mud and sand from Old River Road

The year 2010 went out with a roar. December brought a series of intense storms that dumped abnormally large amounts of rain on San Diego County. DPW crews spent months preparing for the winter rains, and when they did come were out in the field cutting trees that had fallen across the roadways, clearing other roads of mud and debris and even boulders that came crashing down from the hillsides, and in some cases, completing emergency repairs to keep the County roads safe and passable. 

Just two of the many examples are shown below.

On Live Oak Park Road in Fallbrook a huge tree toppled adjacent to the roadway. As it fell, the root structure left a gaping hole in the road. Crews were dispatched to cut up the tree and haul away the logs, and then fill and patch the large hole.  


A gaping hole in the roadway is left when a huge tree topples over during the December storms. The hole is filled with dirt, and packed down. 


Then a truck dumps asphalt into the filled hole which is spread by new and old technologies - a front-end loader and an old fashioned hand shovel. The front-end loader is not only useful for spreading out the asphalt but also for packing it down. Finally, the logs cut from the fallen tree are loaded into another truck and hauled away. The road is reopened in a matter of a couple of hours. 


Along Old River Road a culvert becomes clogged with mud and sand runoff from the nearby hillside. Crews will have to dig out the other end of the pipe for an escape route for the water and to insert the Vactor truck hose to blow out the pipe. After the water is drained, a front-end loader will be used to clear away the remaining mud and sand.  


An under-the-road 24-inch culvert pipe is clogged with mud and sand runoff from the fields just above the roadway. DPW crews bring in several pieces of equipment that will be needed to dig an escape for the water, blast out the pipe so it can drain, and then scrape away the mud and silt from the roadway.


A backhoe is used to dig out a hole at the far end of the pipe, while other crews use hand shovels to trench a small water escape route. When the pipe is finally exposed, the high-pressure hose from the Vactor truck is inserted. Water quickly clears the mud and sand from the pipe. 


When the water begins to swirl over the clogged drain, it's only a matter of time before the water that had flooded the roadway is gone. Finally, the mud and sand left by the standing water is scooped up, and the road is once again clear for traffic. 

During cleanup operations, please be aware of crews and equipment working to clear our roadways of mud and debris and keep our storm channels clear. Slow down and obey flagmen signals. Keeping our roads safe and passable is just one of the many responsibilities of DPW - Working For You.