Up & Coming Weekly

September 03, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 27 of 36

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM SEPTEMBER 4-10, 2019 UCW 27 Hope Mills News & Views NEWS Hope Mills seeks help preventing yard debris problems by EARL VAUGHAN JR. Hurricane preparedness theme of September Food Truck Rodeo by EARL VAUGHAN JR. Hope Mills has taken its share of punishment from hurricanes in recent years, so town officials have sched- uled an event to help citizens prepare for the worst should one or more strike again this season. As part of the Thursday, Sept. 5, Food Truck Rodeo in Hope Mills, a hurricane preparedness event has been arranged in cooperation with the local Community Emergency Response Team. The food truck rodeo will take place this Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the outdoor basketball courts at Hope Mills Municipal Park on Rockfish Road. Nearly all of the vendors on hand for the event will be oriented toward dealing with issues involving hurricane awareness. Chancer McLaughlin, development and plan- ning administrator for the town, said many of the vendors will be able to provide citizens attending the event information on how to deal with issues they might encounter when a hurricane strikes. Here are some questions that the experts at the food truck rodeo will help answer. How much bleach is needed to purify water? What is a survival flash drive and where should you store it? How do you operate a generator? How do you stop bleeding? What smartphone apps are best to have in an emergency situation? What steps need to be taken during a water advisory? Other topics that will be covered include how to pack a so-called "go bag" along with on-site train- ing in CPR. Vendors with specific information involv- ing hurricane situations will include the American Red Cross, the Public Works Commission and the Salvation Army. As always, the food truck rodeo will be collecting nonperishable food items to support the ALMS HOUSE in Hope Mills. The event isn't just about hurricane preparedness, it's also about having a fun evening out with the family and enjoying the variety of eating options at the food trucks. Special musical guest for the eve- ning will be a jazz band called Rah's Illuminated 1's. Miller Motte College will be on hand to share information about its programs and offer free massages. A wide assortment of food trucks will be present, including Doug's NC Barbecue, Big T's, Nannie's Famous, Chef Glen, Food 4 the Soul, Noth'n Fancy, Elite Catering, Dogwood Java, East Coast Snowey and Lo Diferente. "The main purpose is to get the public some useful information,'' McLaughlin said. There are two more food truck events scheduled this year, McLaughlin said, one in October and one in November on the first Thursday of each month. McLaughlin said no theme had been deter- mined for the remaining two rodeos. Hope Mills town officials are concerned about the recent increase in yard debris and the negative impact it could have if it's allowed to block the town's storm drain system. That's why community officials are reaching out to citizens to do the best they can to make sure debris is cleared from their yards before a major storm hits the town again. Tyler Riddle, a stormwater technician for the town, said the major culprits among lawn debris include grass clippings, leaves and limbs, but it doesn't stop there. "If it can be picked up by the water and possibly make it to a drain, it's going to hinder the amount of water that can get in that catch basin,'' he said. The catch basin is the structure you see with a metal grate at street level and a wide opening for the water to flow through into the storm drain. Problems mount when yard trash winds up in the street and is swept into the catch basins around the town. "Everything that's in the street is going to run to that catch basin, even pine straw,'' Riddle said. "It's going to cover that grate on the catch basin and not allow water to come through.'' Worse, large amounts of yard waste can get into the catch basin and, from there, the storm drain pipe system. Over time, it accumulates to further hinder the flow of water though the pipes. Eventually, the pipe itself can get clogged, requiring cleaning with a pumping truck and a sewer jetter, a drain-cleaning machine that uses high-pressure water to knock the debris free. "That's going to cost the taxpayers money,'' Riddle said. "They're the ones paying for it in the long run.'' Riddle said town staff does as much as it can to keep the streets clear of debris that could foul the storm drains, but with so many drains located all over Hope Mills, it's an impossible job for the staff to com- plete alone. "Everybody who helps out, it's not just helping the town, it's helping yourself in the long run for your street not flooding and water not backing up in your yard,'' Riddle said. "The cleaner you keep the streets, the better everything works.'' Some people may choose to mulch their yard waste and use it on a home garden if they have one, Riddle said. Otherwise it's best to make sure all yard debris is left in a trash can to be collected by the town. "If you rake it up and put it in a (garbage) con- tainer, that's the best way to get rid of it,'' Riddle said. "Once you put it in that container, it's not going anywhere but in the truck.'' This is a catch basin adjacent to Hope Mills Lake with the kind of debris that can be swept from yards and cause problems for the storm drain system.

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