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Crews clearing storm drains of leaves before heavy rain arrives

(WBNG) — What’s left of the gorgeous fall color this year has been steadily falling to the ground, and this can pose a problem as heavy rain targets the area Thursday night into Friday.

Road crews across the Twin Tiers have been doing their best to clear storm drains and pipes of any leaves and debris.

“We’ve had our excavation crews and vac trucks out cleaning the inlets and outlets of these pipes to make sure. Because as you’ve say, there’s a lot of leaves been falling,” said Assistant General Foreman with Broome County Highway Mark Quail.

These crews are working hard to avoid all the damage a clogged storm drain could cause.

“It just creates havoc. When that water comes down it plugs up the storm drains, it plugs up the catch basins, it plugs up the cross-road cover pipes. That’s what overwhelms these ditches and causes washouts and additional damage,” said Assistant General Foreman for Broome County Highway Michael Cagrgosky.

Many of these same crews are beginning preparations for winter, so if flooding from clogged drains leads to more damage, its additional work that could’ve been prevented.

It all comes down to being prepared.

“Being prepared is huge. All it takes is a couple sticks and leaves to block off a pipe and somebody’s driveway could get washed out,” said Quail.

Whether or not flooded drains are the cause, officials also want residents to heed another warning as the heavy rainfall passes.

“If you see water going over the road, always be aware that you might not be able to drive through there. Because there might not be a road underneath that water,” said Quail.

Officials urge residents and businesses to do their part and ensure storm drains near their properties are clear, so runoff ponding and urban flooding issues don’t arise.

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