City declares local state of emergency for damaged spillway

CARLSBAD — A local state of emergency was approved on Tuesday by the City Council due to a damaged spillway along Batiquitos Drive.

According to interim Public Works Director Elaine Lukey, the city discovered a blocked drainage basin south of Poinsettia Drive when water breached the spillway after rain on Dec. 16.

Sandbags were placed above the spillway, but heavy rain on Dec. 23 broke through spilling sediment and causing concern the drainage structure failed. It did not, but the spillway did.

City Manager Kevin Crawford declared the emergency on Dec. 27, although the council could not approve the resolution until its first public meeting.

Nevertheless, the emergency declaration allows city crews and staff the authority to begin assessing the damage and cleanup.

In addition, City Planner Don Neu said an emergency coastal development permit (CDP) was issued to allow for work to begin. The city has 30 days to submit a regular CDP to the state, Lukey said.

As for repairs, she said crews began Dec. 28 to remove and replace the concrete spillway plus removing vegetation, sediment and debris around the basin structure and near the spillway.

The projected cost is $60,000, although the city is investigating who owns the land, which is private property, to determine if any money can be recouped or determine responsibility for keeping the 30-year-old drain clear.

Lukey’s presentation also included a photo of the drain, which is a metal structure about three feet above ground. On top is a metal cage, while the base is solid metal with holes drilled into the side all around.

The holes allow for water to drain into the pipe and into the city’s system. However, Lukey said about three feet of the drain are still covered after an initial cleaning.

Work is expected to take three to four weeks, although could be delayed due to weather.

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