Emergency Creek Cleanup Under Way

By Megan Tevrizian
|  Sunday, Dec 26, 2010  |  Updated 9:38 AM PDT
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The city was granted an emergency permit in an effort to reduce future flooding.

The city was granted an emergency permit in an effort to reduce future flooding.

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As part of an effort to reduce future flooding, the City of San Diego was granted an emergency permit to clear out vegetation and sediment from the Alvarado Creek Channel.

Cleanup started around 11 a.m. Saturday. Bulldozers carried sediment, debris, and dead vegetation, loading it onto a truck for removal.

"We're not going in and taking everything out. We've got a very careful set of plans, we've got a very well trained set of crews and we're going to do the minimum work necessary to restore capacity," said Bill Harris from the City of San Diego Storm Water Department.

Clearing the channels will allow for greater water flow, which means less flooding of buildings and homes, Harris said.

Flooding from the Alvarado Creek has been such a reoccurring problem that one business installed a waterproof bulkhead door -- the kind of thing you see in submarines.

The City of San Diego has been seeking a general permit to clean up the areas for years, but it was the latest rainfall that created an emergency situation. They were granted a number of emergency permits late Thursday, to clean up the priority areas.

"As you saw we had a major break on a creek near the stadium which filled the stadium parking lot and there have been problems in Sorrento Valley and elsewhere throughout the city," said Harris.

Crews will continue their cleanup efforts throughout the week.

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