Fallen leaves, heavy rain make a mess for public works employees to clean up

MILWAUKEE -- The rain just kept coming for most of southeast Wisconsin on Wednesday, October 26th. And in late October, the rain wasn't the only "falling concern."

"I've seen so many of our village workers work so hard. They were out very early in the morning," said Kelly Wood who lives in Whitefish Bay.

On Wednesday afternoon, Whitefish Bay Public Works employees were still out clearing sewer grates throughout the village.

"Fallen leaves, as well as leaf collection, can cause problems with storm sewer drainage," said John Edlebeck, Whitefish Bay director of Public Works.

Between the leaves and rain, Edlebeck said it was something of an imperfect storm.

Leaves block sewer grates

"This time of year, there's a, probably a six-week window that any rain-intense event can cause problems," Edlebeck said.

It's a necessary process, but having homeowners rake their leaves into the gutters certainly did not help matters.

"Obviously, one of the concerns is drainage. But we've addressed that with additional employees," Edlebeck said.

Edlebeck said three employees spent the day monitoring and clearing sewer grates throughout the village. They just started collecting leaves last week.

While residents are welcome to clear the sewer grates themselves, it is not necessary. Officials say you can call your municipality's Department of Public Works and request they clear the leaves.