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Rains turn Milestone into a temporary water feature
Milestone Park worked effectively at its second job as a storm retention basin. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO
LATHROP – Lathrop residents living around Milestone Manor Park woke up on Tuesday to a picturesque water feature after the night’s driving rain accompanied by wind gusts of up to 45 mph.

The park, which functions as a storm drain for the neighborhood situated on the fringe of the city’s Old Town District, performed what it was built for and collected all the runoff water from the rain.

As luck would have it, a break in the weather produced puffy clouds against a vivid blue sky. That heavenly backdrop reflected on the waters of the flooded storm basin resulted in a surreal scene that included park benches, picnic tables and barbecue pits seemingly afloat on a mirror-like surface. Undeterred by the flooded park, some residents still came out to walk their dogs and cats around the dry areas of the storm basin.

Lathrop Public Works Director Steve Salvatore said the flooding of Milestone Manor Park on J Street was not an indication that there was any malfunction in the park’s pump station. Other water retention basins in various places around Historic Lathrop including Libby Lane Park and the enclosed drainage facility on N Street off Cambridge Drive did not retain as much water later in the day Tuesday as Milestone Park. Salvatore said that is due to a combination of things such as ground surface absorption rate. Some are more porous than others grounds, he said.

Overall, all storm drain systems throughout the city functioned with no noted deficiencies in the torrential rains, Salvatore said.

Rain water collected in the city’s storm drains are pumped to the river via three main pump stations. One serves just the Crossroads Commerce Center on South Harlan Road. The other two serves the Stonebridge area on North Harlan Road, and the older section of the town.