Crystal Crews Work to Clear Drains, Prevent Street Flooding
The National Weather Service issued a flood watch for the Twin Cities, including the northwest suburbs, due to melting snow and rain in the forecast. As a result, local public works crews are working quickly to clear away snow-covered storm drains.
City officials expressed concern about street flooding, especially in low-lying areas.
“We’re out in full force trying to get the catch basins cleared before not only the snow melts, rapidly, but also with the rain coming,” said Mark Ray, Crystal’s public works director.
Crews have their work cut out for them, especially when you consider the amount of street drains that need clearing. There’s 2,300 in Crystal alone, which is why the city is encouraging residents to help clear them.
City workers are prioritizing low areas of neighborhoods where water will definitely collect. The work is challenging. First they have to locate catch basins or storm drains, which they find with a metal detector. Then they bring in heavy equipment to scoop up all the snow that has collected on top of the drain. The next process requires some muscle, Chipping and hammering away at the ice, until it is gone.
If people cannot locate drains, residents can find them on Google Maps using the street view. Crystal police also want to remind residents not to drive through flooded streets because you never can tell just how deep the water is.