The “report” page for the SeeClickfix Bluffton app.

As the height of hurricane season approaches, Town of Bluffton officials and staff members want the public to know how the Town is preparing, as well as how residents and business owners can prepare and partner with the Town to enhance hurricane preparation and recovery.

The Town takes on many responsibilities:

1. Routine inspections of Town-owned drains, inlets, ditches, and roads for any blockage and cleaning debris and performing any needed maintenance in these areas.

2. Email all local contractors and property owners associations with hurricane preparedness checklists.

3. Notify South Carolina Department of Transportation, Beaufort County or property management or owner associations (POAs) of observed maintenance needs. Most stormwater ditches are located on private property or in the jurisdiction of state or county roads.

To ensure stormwater is able to flow unimpeded through the town’s infrastructure, all stormwater ditches need to be maintained and regularly cleaned, especially prior to a storm. This ensures a continuous flow of water and prevents clogged areas from flooding.

There are items that are required of developers and contractors:

1. Taking preventative action to ensure all active construction sites are free of equipment, materials and debris

2. Ensure all silt fences and sediment or erosion control devices are properly installed and maintained

Responsibility of our POAs:

1. Turn off any well water being pumped into man-made lakes and lagoons, allowing increased storage.

2. Shut off any common area irrigation systems.

3. Inspect all storm drains/outfalls to ditches/ponds and remove any debris

Requested homeowner or renter actions:

1. Inspect around your home to ensure there are no drainage blockages and remove any you might see.

2. Bag up and dispose of grass clippings or leaf debris in trash pickup or, if bulky, at a county convenience center for disposal. Never blow these or any loose dirt into drains, as it clogs the system.

3. Report to your POA if you notice any sediment or vegetation like leaves or grass clippings blocking drains.

There are several ways to report maintenance needs:

• In the Town of Bluffton, use the See ClickFix Bluffton app. This app allows citizens to request services from the Town and report non-emergency issues within the Town’s jurisdiction.

The SeeClickFix mobile app is available for download on Android (Google Play) and iPhone (App Store). Issues not serviced by the Town’s engineering department will be redirected to the appropriate town department or outside entity like SCDOT, Beaufort County or property management company.

• In unincorporated Beaufort County, use the Beaufort County Connect app. More information can be found at beaufortcountysc.gov/apps.

• Along SCDOT roads, submit a maintenance work request at dbw.scdot.org/workrequest.

Lisa Sulka is the mayor of the Town of Bluffton.