Who cleans up after a storm like Irene?

1:42 PM

Turns out I was wrong? After Irene wrecked havoc up and down the East Coast, she left a huge mess.  The City of Richmond fell victim and lost many of its oldest trees.  These trees took some of our homes as well.  After such a big storm, we are often left wondering who is responsible for clean up?  If a tree falls into our ditches and yards, do we pay for the damage?
If you are ever curious about the answer to this question, my first response would be to contact your insurance company.   Typically you are responsible for the removal of anything that falls into your yard.  If a tree from a neighbor’s yard topples onto your side, your insurance will take care of it and vice versa. 
What if a storm takes down trees and branches and clogs up our City’s storm water utilities?  More than likely, your Storm Water team should clear up your ditch as soon as possible.  For example, the City of Richmond must clean all of the debris that gathered in our ditch.  Over the weekend, Cherokee road was closed to thru-traffic.  The City hired contractors to clean up fallen trees and branches piled up in ditches.  It turns out the money that you pay every year does get put to use.  Richmond City is in charge of unclogging the drains.  Their website states the following:
The Richmond Stormwater Utility regularly cleans and clears 178 miles of city-managed drainage pipes by following a bi-yearly cleaning schedule. Some pipes are cleaned monthly. Even though storm drain inlets may not have debris on or around them, clogged underground pipes can cause water to back up, resulting in standing water and flooding.”
If you ever fear that your ditch is neglected from your City, give your Public Works/Utilities a call.  Don’t call them to clean up the debris in your yard.  You must do that yourself.
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  1. Very intresting! Not to sound dumb but what is a ditch, as relates to what you are talking about? We don't have them here in NY (at least not where I live) Glad things are getting back to normal for you, it was a horrible storm, some people really lost a lot. Thanks for always giving such great and useful information!

  2. Thanks for more info about what to do. I'm from Louisiana and I was there when Hurricane Katrina hit. So bad, but it's always great to get refreshed on this topic.

    I'm visiting you from VB- Members to Remember. You had posted on my blog www.charmiesmind.com. I wanted to thank you for that!

  3. I'm on the West Coast so I have no idea if something like this will ever happen, but these are good tips for those who do need. I have always wondered this after seeing natural disasters like hurricanes on the news.

    Stopping by from voiceBoks Members to Remember! Have a great week!

    ~Sarah the Writer

  4. You always post helpful and timely information on your blog! It's so sad that storm damaged so much and snapped such old trees like it was nothing.

    We certainly don't get hurricanes in the wild west (AZ) but we get these microbursts that remind me of tornadoes, usually concentrated on one small area (in the whole scheme of things) and they do some major damage usually during monsoon season. Certainly not as widespread as the hurricanes you all experience but I have often wondered about all the damage and debris I see on TV and who is responsible if that ended up in my yard.


  5. This is a GREAT post and the kind of thing no one ever prepares for. Such a gift to give people this info up front before the storm hits.


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