Albany must be ready for rain - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany must be ready for rain

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September 21, 2007

Albany -- Rainwater flooded Nottingham Way between Stuart Avenue and Whispering Pines Road, causing a traffic jam. Just a half hour before, Public Works crews worked feverishly pumping a sewer drain at Sixth Ave. and N. Jackson Street trying to avoid that very problem.

 "It's like a big vacuum cleaner, they're just pumping the debris out of the catch basin," said Public Works Supervisor Chris Dollar. 

August through October are the busiest months for Public Works crews, who anticipate the possibility of tropical weather like this reaching Albany. They've been running eight street sweepers and five Jet Vacs trying to prevent problems like we saw along Oglethorpe Blvd.

"Because of Albany's flat topography we have to take extra steps from August to October to account for the topical system that come up through the gulf," said Public Works Director Phil Roberson.  

Drought conditions haven't made it easy, causing more trees to drop leaves, clogging storm drains as quickly as they're cleared.

"You'd be surprised at what we've found mostly it's leaves, and pine straw, sand, lots of bottles and cans," Dollar said.

The area needs this beneficial rain that's why public works is happy to see it come, but in small doses.

"You don't want too much too fast, because when you get those tropical systems that park over the north of us then they dump a lot of rain quickly and because we're so flat we're overcome by rain," said Robertson.

Despite public work's best efforts when the area gets two inches of rain, in a short amount of time, like it did this afternoon, no matter how much prep has been done in advance, flooding can't be avoided.

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