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Portage City Hall

Portage City Hall

PORTAGE — With the torrential rains from the last few weeks, Portage street crews have been forced to play catch-up with much of their work.

Street Superintendent Steve Nelson told the City Council Tuesday his workers have been prevented from continuing much of their duties due to damp conditions.

“The sun is shining, and we're trying to play catch-up. This rain has really hurt us a lot,” he said. “We need the sun to keep shining for a week and we'll have everything mowed.”

Oversaturated grounds and wet conditions have forced Nelson's crews to wait on cutting lawns. Because of that, the grass is overgrown in some areas.

“Today we were working on an entranceway, and we had to triple cut,” he said. “The grass has gotten so high because of all the rain.”

The delays have created a backlog for the street department's effort to fill up potholes in the city's roads.

“We're continually running a pothole crew every day and we'll stay on that until we get them all filled,” Nelson said. “They're busting loose like it's March. I don't know what's going on, but it's going to take a full crew steady the rest of this week to at least catch up on them.”

The rains have also revealed some areas that may need storm sewer improvements.

Nelson said portions of Willowcreek Road had flooded so extensively the barricades have remained in place.

Resident Dave Trachtenberg told council that an area near Cordele Street is especially prone to flooding and even normal rains cause problems.

According to weather forecasts, rain is expected Thursday and Friday along with showers next week on Sunday and Tuesday, potentially causing further delays.

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