Oak Bay pleads for residents to leave leaves on the boulevard

Avoid flood hazards as storms brew on South Island

As municipal crews prepare for the annual leaf clearing in Oak Bay, the municipality pleads with residents to keep their piles to the boulevard.

Do not place leaves on the street, in gutters or on sidewalks, say Oak Bay public works staff, as it poses a hazard to road users and can disrupt the storm system.

“Please do not collect them in the streets near catch basins and storm drains. They can cause flooding,” said Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen.

“It’s a hazard for walkers and cyclists and for basements … (keep leaves) on the boulevards please.”

The first in a series of powerful October storms was expected late Wednesday bringing heavy rains and strong winds. A second storm is expected early today (Friday) while a third will make landfall later tomorrow.

Winds beyond 80 km/h are expected alongside some heavy rainfall. Total rainfall for the series of storms could exceed 200 mm for west and inland areas of Vancouver Island. Rain in our inner coastal region could exceed 100 mm according to Environment Canada.

The leaf clearing program begins in late October and continues until all the leaves are collected around Christmas time.

This annual blitz is to help prevent catch basins and storm mains from becoming clogged during a moderate to heavy rainfall.

Public works also reminds residents to leave out other garden or tree trimmings on the boulevard, as only leaves are cleared through the vacuum. Also, do not gather leaves in plastic bags that can clog the vacuum. There is a fine for those who place leaves on the street.