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City of Lompoc addresses maintenance services amid heavy downpour

Posted at 3:59 PM, Sep 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-19 21:14:46-04

The city of Lompoc saw heavy rainfall Monday, resulting in flooded roadways and decreased visibility for drivers.

City officials say crews from the Public Works Department keep a close eye on storm drains and flooded roads during this time, adding that they take preemptive measures during drier parts of the year to prepare for days like this.

"Before the rainy season, every year in the fall we do clean all the storm drains and inlets for the city," said Assistant Public Works Director Craig Dierling.

He says there are just under 400 drains and inlets across Lompoc that crews monitor during the rain. But even still, flooding on city roadways can sometimes be inescapable amid a heavy downpour.

"If you go down H Street, it is a nightmare," said Lompoc resident, Walter Brown. "I mean, the draining system here is, lack of a better term, it sucks."

While driving south down H Street Monday morning, large puddles of water could be seen between the right side lane and the sidewalk, splashing up water and hindering visibility for drivers.

"A lot of flat area through there," Dierling told KSBY. "It is similar to Ocean Avenue where some of the outside lanes don't drain so well. We have higher traffic and more water flowing there. We do check those inlets and make sure they are flowing as well as they can, so, slow down, be careful, use the inside lane if you can."

He says the city's maintenance efforts include clearing debris from the roads, replacing filters when necessary and making sure drains are working properly.

And while more rain in Lompoc is not expected for the rest of the week, crews with public works remain on call for anytime a big downpour is on its way.

"We try to stay ready all the time, so continually working to keep everything running smoothly and then when a big rain is forecast, we have some folks on standby generally ready with their phone at night to come out and clear a road or remove a fallen tree or something like that," Dierling added.

But despite the drainage and maintenance issues that arise during the rain, locals we spoke with welcomed Monday's shower with a smile.

"We only get rain, not a lot this time around. It is just really nice, it is good for the plants, the animals love it," said Lompoc resident Krystina Valadez.

"I can't remember the last time we had rain in September. Just wish we had more rain." added Walter Brown.

If your neighborhood in Lompoc has experienced any flooding or fallen trees, you can call the City Street Maintenance Division at 805-875-8021 or the Urban Forestry Division at 805-875-8034.