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The approaching fall weather means brown, crunchy leaves underfoot, which is fun for almost everyone, unless you’re driving the Beatrice street sweeper.

As trees in Beatrice start to shed their leaves for the season, the Beatrice street department is revving their engines for fall. They’ve started some street sweeping, Street Superintendent Jason Moore told the Beatrice Board of Works, but bigger projects may be coming.

“We'll probably be running both sweepers every day,” Moore said. “It could very well be for the next month and a half, two months.”

If you look up at the trees, you’ll notice a lot of leaves are still green, Moore said, which seems a little late. With the first frost that hit on Monday, he said, you’ll probably start to see them dropping soon. And when they start, they won’t stop for quite a while.

“When that happens, we'll be running through sweeping,” he said. “A lot of times, when the wind starts blowing and leaves start dropping, we can sweep a block and two hours later, you won't be able to tell we've been there.”

BPW secretary Bob Moran asked what happens to the leaves and debris that gets into the storm drains and asked if the city pumps it out.

Only if there’s a blockage, Moore said. Usually there’s enough flow through the system that keeps it clean, but occasionally, you’ll find something unexpected.

“Unless there is a television in a storm sewer, which we had,” Moore said. "And a bike, or a tire. Sometime, a tire without a rim, somebody will think it's funny and they'll shove it through the storm drain. That tends to make problems.”

The television set crews found a couple years ago was pretty small, he said, and normally wouldn’t have been a problem, but it got stuck against a gas pipeline that had been bored through the storm sewer, which itself was causing a clogging problem.

“You'd really be surprised what you find in storm sewers,” he said.


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