Submitted by: Amairany Rubio in Newton
Friday, June 28, 2013
Storm cleanup is underway in Newton following severe storms that impacted the area Thursday night.
Crews have been out since last night removing debris and repairing traffic signals. Beginning Monday, Newton will conduct a city-wide tree limb pickup.
Full details are in the release issued by the City of Newton on Friday morning:
City crews clean up after storm, Citywide limb pickup will begin Monday morning
Last night's storm and strong winds have kept City crews busy throughout Newton.
Street crews were out until 10:30 p.m. Thursday night setting barricades, moving debris and setting temporary traffic control after street signal outages at First and Meridian and at Kansas and Medical Center Drive. Just after 11 p.m., 911 dispatch called for City public works crews to set up a detour for U.S. Highway 50 because of downed power lines. Traffic was diverted to Meridian and then to First Street.
Today, public works staff will focus on removal of debris in the main thoroughfares and restoration of traffic signal systems that were damaged.
Beginning at 7 a.m. Monday, street crews will do a citywide limb pickup. Residents will need to place their limbs in one pile at the curb for efficient collection. City staff cannot move it to the curb for you.
Crews will go through the entire city, but only plan to pass by each residence once for pickup. Collection will begin in the northeast part of the city and work toward the southwest. To keep this operation quick, organized and efficient, the Public Works Department asks that citizens remain patient and be timely with their limb placement because they cannot come back multiple times and still complete all the summer street maintenance projects.
Cleanup will take a few weeks to complete because City crews will be busy setting up fencing and barricades and cleaning up debris to prepare for July 4th holiday events.
If residents would like to get rid of their storm debris quicker than City crews can accommodate, they are encouraged to obtain their free landfill coupon from the Utility Billing Office. The coupon will allow them to take one free load to the Harvey County Transfer Station on Southwest 24th Street.
All planned street slurry seal projects will be put on hold until storm cleanup is complete.
City facilities are still being evaluated, but some minor damage was reported at the Mission Water Plant and Wastewater Treatment Plant. The plants and many of the water booster stations were without power overnight. Fortunately, a reliable system of backup generators is in place, so the Public Works Department can continue to provide continuous water supply to the community during and after such a storm event.
City parks crews began cleaning up significant storm damage in Military Park this morning to prepare for a community event there this afternoon. They have also begun cleanup at Athletic Park, which has a wedding and a church gathering planned this weekend. Athletic Park Drive is currently closed because of downed utility poles and lines.
Outlying parks like Caperland and Washington may have to wait for cleanup until Monday so that staff can concentrate on event locations before the weekend.