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When a graffiti message started to appear around the catch basins in the neighborhood, Catie Savage, Hell’s Kitchen’s Trash Queen, was quick to say it was not her work — but that she still thought it was a “cool and important” message.

“This is NOT a Trash Can” messages at storm drains around Hell’s Kitchen. Photo: Catie Savage.

It turns out that the “This is NOT a Trash Can” and “Only Rain Down the Drain” stenciled messages are the work of the City. The City Cleanup is employing 10,000 New Yorkers to wipe away graffiti, power-wash sidewalks, create community murals, tend to community gardens, beautify public spaces, and work with community organizations to clean their neighborhoods — and to stencil messages around these grids.

Every New Yorker has experienced wading through a corner that’s deep in water, caused by a blocked catch basin. In July, as a storm hit the city, the viral video below showed the consequences of a badly maintained storm drain — and some local heroes clearing up.

Now, with Hurricane Ida set to hit Louisiana today, it’s projected that the city will feel the impact of Ida on Wednesday. If you see a blocked grate you can report it to the city here, pick up one of Catie’s Litter Legion clean up kits at these locations or join her crew on Tuesday evening to clear catch basins and pick up loose litter ahead of the rain!

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