Valley Preparations for Chilling Weather

December 12, 2008 6:15:49 PM PST
City maintenance crews went block by block cleaning up fallen leaves Friday. It's just one effort underway preparing for this weekend's chilly- wet weather.With the official start of winter right around the corner leaves are finally falling from their trees in Fresno. And with a serious cold weather and rain threat this weekend that means an orchestrated effort by the public utilities department to get those leaves off the ground in a hurry.

"You get a bunch of leaves together it will clog the drains, flooding, you'll have the storm water system being clogged up and a whole host of problems," said Sanitation Supervisor Phillip Weathers.

Weathers said his cleaning crew and four others need a month to sweep up the whole city but with bad weather predictions it could take longer.

"Leaves continue to fall down that's why it takes us about two and a half months actually to pick up all the leaves in the community," said Weathers.

Citrus growers are also paying close attention and monitoring the inclement weather. Rod Radtke in Sanger spent much of Friday preparing water irrigation, fans and pruning trees as tools to combat the near freezing temperatures, which could damage his crops.

"With all the variables involved it's gonna be a moment by moment decision on whether we're gonna have a safe night or a dangerous night. It could change through out the night," said Radtke.

But one business is hopeful the cold storm brings plenty of snow, and plenty of skiers.

"Absolutely and timing would be perfect if this storm were to come in just before the holidays would be terrific," said marketing director of Seirra Summit Ski Resort Boomer Devaurs.

From Saturday on the slopes will be open daily at the ski resort. As for the citrus farmers, it looks like freezing temperatures won't arrive until the middle of next week.

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