With rain coming to Sacramento area, keep leaves out of gutter

When piling leaves for pickup by the claw this week, Sacramento residents are reminded to keep them out of the gutter so that Tuesday’s rain can run unimpeded into storm drains.

That’s the word from the City of Sacramento as a subtropical storm forecast to drop up to a half inch of rain moves into Northern California Tuesday.

The claw, that motorized green waste machine that appears now every fall to scoop up leafy color, has completed a pass through city already once this season, city officials said. That’s good head start on autumn’s leaf drop before the first substantial rain.

City officials say that residents should first fill their green waste containers. Then, if a resident has more leaves, place the green waste in piles along the street but not in the gutter.

“To the degree that you can, keep the gutters clear,” said Erin Treadwell, spokeswoman for the city’s recycling and solid waste division. “Let the water flow.”

The claw is coming by each home to pick up leaves about every 10 days, operating six days a week from bases in the southern and northern part of the city.

The claw crews will be out in the rain scooping up the leaf piles and dumping them into back-loading trucks this week. The rain, which is expected to be heaviest on Tuesday, will hasten leaf drop and the soggy green waste will weigh down trucks.

“We like to pick up dry leaves because they are lighter and we can pick up more in a truck,” said Treadwell. “However, they fly away and are harder to control. The rain makes them easier to contain but it also makes loads heavier. Because the leaf piles are heavier, our trucks need to unload more frequently because they can only carry a certain weight.”