City crews replaced a clogged stormwater pipe that flooded West Union Street, trapping a plastic trash container in water and forcing children with school backpacks to walk in the street.

The work was completed Feb. 14 after aldermen visited the site and contacted the public works department for help.

“Carol (Johnson) made us aware of it,” Alderman Herb Adams said.

The clogged pipe ran beneath West Union, west of Sanker, carrying stormwater from a street drain on the north side of the roadway to a natural drainage ditch on the south side.

Adams said he and Gass got involved out of concern of people coming to city board meetings to complain about something that should have been done years ago.

Johnson raised the issue at the Feb. 5 board meeting. She said although the problem has been present for at least five years, piles of snow from the recent snowstorm had dammed the water against the curb creating a deep pool that submerged the sidewalk forcing kids to walk in the street.

Resident Dale Overkramer, who is sight impaired, could not get his trash container out of the water. Johnson said the resident was unable to leave the front of his house due to water pooled on the sidewalk.

Adams said he and Gass drove around and looked at several areas of concerns that had been reported in recent board meetings, including the West Union site.

“Ed (Gass) and I went into city hall and let them know that we were out looking,” he said “When we saw the water on West Union, Ed phoned Robert (Brueggemann, public works commissioner) to look at it.”

“What is the fix here?” the men asked Brueggemann. “Robert found the storm drain was completely clogged.”

Crews attempted to unplug the drain. When that failed, Brueggemann decided to install a new 12-inch drain beneath the street.

West Union between Sanker and Pacific Fire Station 1 was closed to traffic for several hours while the repair was made, but by 3 p.m. that day school buses were able to turn onto West Union to pick up students at school.

Brueggemann said replacing the pipe was the only solution to the problem.

The 20-foot line carries water from the street drain on the north side of West Union to the open ditch on the south side.

Crews placed a row of riprap rock along the slope to hold the slope in place.