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LA Stormwater Hero Spotlight: Grayburn Avenue Block Club
LA Stormwater Hero Spotlight: Grayburn Avenue Block Club Image

For many of us, fall means enjoying cooler weather, sipping pumpkin-spiced lattes and unpacking sweaters from summer storage. For the Grayburn Avenue Block Club, the start of autumn signals that it’s time to prepare their South Los Angeles neighborhood for the rainy weather to come.

You may remember our recent article on Lynetta McElroy, the founder of the Grayburn Avenue Block Club and avid rainwater harvester. We first met Lynetta in 2016 when she contacted us and told us her concern about debris blocking catch basins in her neighborhood. She was worried about the possible health hazards related to flooding and wanted to know how she could help with the problem. I could see that when it was raining, we would have all this debris blocking the storm drain…the leaves create a stoppage for the water and that was a problem… I wanted to do what I could to alleviate the problem,” said Lynetta.  

Since our initial conversation, Lynetta has enlisted the help of her neighbors and members of the Grayburn Avenue Block Club. When we chatted with her in early October, she told us about the Grayburn Avenue Block Club’s efforts to prepare their neighborhood for the wet weather ahead by periodically clearing trash, litter and green waste from street gutters and near catch basins. This is also the time of year that Lynetta begins monitoring weather reports – ready to send rainy weather forecasts to her neighbors and encourage them to keep streets and gutters clear of litter and trash ahead of storms, which helps prevent flooding and keeps pollution out of our local waterways.

It’s easy to get your own home and neighborhood prepped for stormy days ahead like the members of the Grayburn Avenue Block Club. Here are a few tips:

  • Clean debris from your home’s gutters and downspouts.
  • Create an emergency preparedness kit.
  • Secure trash bins and lightweight objects in your yard.
  • Do a mini cleanup before a storm. Walk your neighborhood with a trash bag and pick up any trash and litter you see in the gutter.
  • Familiarize yourself with the location of fire stations that have free sand and sand bags, which can help divert heavy rainwater flows from entering homes and prevent flooding. 
  • Sign up to receive emergency alerts from the City of Los Angeles through Notify LA.


Lynetta’s husband clearing leaves away from the corner catch basin


It is simple, tangible actions like the work of the Grayburn Avenue Block Club that make a real difference in keeping our local rivers, creeks, lakes and ocean clean. Or as Lynetta puts it, “How simple it is to make a difference.”

Do you know of another inspiring LA Stormwater Hero that we should talk to or do you have any questions or comments? Let us know by sending us an email at lastormwater@lacity.org.

This is the second article in a two-part series focusing on Lynetta McElroy and the efforts of the Grayburn Avenue Block Club. Our first article focused on Lynetta’s rainwater harvesting efforts.

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