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Manteca recognizes 8 who keep water at bay
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Heavy rains flooded areas in Tracy, Lodi, Modesto and Stockton during late November and early December.

That wasn’t the case in Manteca.

Councilman Vince Hernandez believes a lot of the credit goes to the city’s dedicated public works crew that hustled prior to the storm’s arrival and during it to clear clogged drains to make sure Manteca’s municipal storm system worked as efficiently as possible.

That’s why Hernandez encouraged his fellow council members to recognize the eight men who were responsible for keeping Manteca free of any major flooding issues. They did just that Tuesday night presenting each worker with a framed council resolution expressing the community’s appreciation.

“You’re part of public safety, too,” Hernandez said in reference to their year-round chores of keeping city streets in shape so that driving conditions are safe.

The eight worked in tandem with the city’s elaborate storm system that includes a series of retention basins designed into most of the city’s 52 parks to keep downpours from overwhelming the city.

Mayor Willie Weatherford compared the public works crew to the Marines noting they “were lean and mean.”

“There are not a lot of you but you do a lot of good work, the mayor said.

Public Works Director Mark Houghton noted the crew attended to every task that was needed from clearing clogged drains of leaves, and keeping storm water pumps humming to monitoring the computer controlled storm system flows.

Houghton credited the preparation of the sewer division and street division crew with keeping localized flooding to a minimum in the initial storm that a second that hit Jan. 5-6 and dumped 1.5i inches of rain on the city. That one storm accounted for 53 percent of the historic average rainfall in Manteca during January.

The eight workers honored were Dave Frank, facilities superintendent; Lucky Shaw, streets coordinator; Joe Chavez, markings and sign specialist; Tim Carol, maintenance supervisor; Tom Manor, lead maintenance worker; Paul Hafer, storm and wastewater maintenance worker; Kyle Dodd, lead collection system worker; and Darrold Gainous, storm and wastewater maintenance worker.