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Belmont schools and town offices closed Monday due to Sandy, town asks for residents' help clearing storm drains

Posted by Evan Allen  October 29, 2012 01:56 AM

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School and town offices in Belmont are closed on Monday due to Hurricane Sandy, according to the town’s website. The Beech Street Center and the library are also closed. The town is asking for help from residents in clearing storm drains, which are clogged with leaves.

On Saturday, Governor Deval Patrick signed a State of Emergency Declaration for the state; on Sunday, the president signed it, which means federal aid can supplement state funds. Patrick asked res residents to stay off the roads, and officials across the state closed schools and told employees to stay at home.

Belmont has more than 2,000 catch basins – grates at the edges of streets that drain stormwater – and because trees are dropping their leaves, many of the drains are clogged, according to the town’s website. The Department of Public Works has been clearing the drains daily, but they cannot keep up with the leaves falling.

The town is asking residents to work with their neighbors to clear storm drains in front of their properties and along the roadway. Residents are cautioned to rake leaves away from the drain, not into the drain, and to dispose of the leaves in yard waste bins or brown paper leaf bags. No one should remove the storm grates.

Yard waste is picked up weekly, but the DPW is reminding residents that street sweepers can not pick up large piles of leaves.

For more town information on Sandy, go here.

Some Sandy tips from the town of Belmont:

· Stay informed by monitoring the storm via the media. · Be sure to have a well-stocked Family Disaster Kit in the event you lose power or are isolated for a number of days. · Clear clogged rain gutters. This storm brings the potential for torrential rain. Providing clear drainage will help prevent misdirected flooding. · Secure outdoor items such as lawn furniture, trash barrels, hanging plants, toys and awnings that can be broken or picked up by strong winds and potentially become a projectile. · Elevate articles in your basement that could be damaged from even minor flooding. · Keep your vehicles fully fuelled. · Have a certain amount of cash available. If power is lost, ATMs may not be working.
For Sandy-related emergency and utility numbers for the Boston area, go here.

Evan Allen can be reached at evan.allen@globe.com

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