May 21, 2019

California Storm Drain Systems Overwhelmed

California resident opens up storm drains after the neighborhood is flooded

California resident opens up storm drains after the neighborhood is flooded

In Stockton, Calif., the city’s storm drain systems have been overwhelmed by storms late Sunday, May 19.

The storm turned the city’s streets into rivers filled with ice. According to the National Weather Service in Sacramento, the thunderstorm is responsible for the hail, and due to the heavy rain, a new record was set, according to KRON 4.

Emergency services spent the Sunday afternoon answering calls related to the storm’s aftermath. According to Recordnet, National Weather Service meteorologist said the storm brought in 1.44 in. of rain in just one hour.

In the midst of the storm, Stockton resident Tyler Gonzales decided he would try to help. “[I] put the bar between the grates and lift it up,” Gonzales told ABC 10.

He started opening up storm drains around his flooded neighborhood with a crowbar and a shovel while wearing rain boots.

"We sat there with our shovels or our crowbar, and were able to move them up out of the way, so that the water could flow freely. Because there was either debris or, in the case of the ones down the street, there was just so much water [that] it wouldn't flow at all," he said to ABC 10.

Other residents like Tammy Lowe, a neighbor of Gonzales, watched as the water made its way close to their homes. “Pretty amazing how fast this all took effect,” Lowe said. “The water was from the street up to this part in my yard–all the way down, all the way across.”

The city told ABC 10 that its storm drain systems were inundated with the amount of water that came in a short period. The city recommended that residents take the time to clean out their gutters when they are able and not to sweep any leaves or debris into the street as this would clog up the storm drains.