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Saturday, June 28th, 2008

Celina residents are knee-deep in rain water and corn cobs

By William Kincaid

Celina resident Rex Wallace cleans up corn fodder from his yard on Kensington La. . .

When corncobs began flowing down Kensington Lane in Celina during the heavy storms Wednesday night, resident Rex Wallace knew it was time to fetch his boots for the third time this year.
Wallace was watching the Red's game at 7:30 p.m. when a storm warning flashed on the television. Soon after, Wallace and his neighbors stood in knee-deep water, struggling to unclog the storm drains on their street.
This the third time rain water has washed corncobs and debris from the farm fields north of the Galleria into their neighborhood.
Armed with rakes and shovels, nine residents worked in the pouring rain and lightning, he said.
"We kept dragging it out and dragging it out," he said about the brown sludge. "We just couldn't keep it (water) down."
The water rose to knee-deep level and crept into lawns and half way up the driveways of at least six properties, Wallace said.
The neighbors finished their task after 11 p.m., as the water began to recede. But in its wake, corn fodder littered the street, yards and driveways.
Although there are no basements in the area, residents have to remove the corn fodder in order to mow their yards, he said.
Wallace spent Thursday morning putting debris in garbage bags, but said he didn't know what he was going to do with it.
When Wallace contacted the city in May about a similar incident, he said a Celina employee used a payloader to move the debris near a guardrail at the end of the dead-end street.
But once heavy rains return, so does the mess.
"They (the city) say they can't do anything about it," Wallace said.
Celina City Safety-Service Director Jeff Hazel said the city needs to put up silt fencing along its property edge to prevent the crops from entering the street. But even with a silt barrier, the corn fodder would still need to be occasionally cleaned up to prevent spill-over, he said.
"There's just no way around it," Celina Planning and Community Development Director Kent Bryan said.
Bryan added that corncobs have been a chronic problem during heavy rains on Kensington Lane.
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