Crews work to prevent flash flooding - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Crews work to prevent flash flooding

June 14, 2004

Albany - When heavy rain is expected, Albany Public Works crews hit the streets to prepare for possible flash flooding. Crews spent Monday cleaning out dozens of storm drains and pumping water from city ponds so heavy rainfall won't cause flash flooding.

A massive vacuum sucked debris from catch basins on West Broad Avenue, an area that typically floods during heavy rain. "We're checking all the low areas to make sure all the drains are clear," Public Works Supervisor Chris Dollar. Debris can back up catch basins and cause water to pour onto the streets.

When Public Works crews heard about the tropical disturbance, they set their emergency plan in motion. "Everybody that works for Public Works is on call," said Dollar.

To keep water from holding in low-lying areas, machines pumped water from all the city's holding pond. "This buys us time from flooding. Where we used to have a flooding problem on Madison, this ponds holds that water now rather than the street holding," said Dollar.

Keeping water of the streets and away from homes is the main goal of Public Works crews. However if the rain comes too fast and furious and streets floods, they're prepared. "If streets flood, we'll close those off. We'll open drains as they get called into us for being stopped up."

As crews watched the clouds roll in Monday afternoon, they prepared for the worst and hoped for the best from this ominous weather system.

Posted at 6:27PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com