Storm Floods Crystal Streets, Leaves Public Works Crews Scrambling
Visit any residential neighborhood impacted by Thursday’s storm, and odds are that you’ll see street sweepers out and about. On Friday, they cleaned up piles of debris that came courtesy of Mother Nature.
Crystal received a lot of rain in a short time
“Between 2:45 [Thursday] and 7:45 in the evening when we checked it again, the city received 3.8 inches of water,” said Mark Ray, Crystal’s Public Works Director. “So that’s a lot of water for our city infrastructure to handle.”
Ray and his staff are responsible for 86 miles of streets throughout the city, all with varying degrees needed attention after Thursday’s rainfall.
“So today we’re definitely in clean-up mode,” Ray said. “We have staff out sweeping streets. We have staff cleaning out catch basins as well as cleaning out the main pipes that connect our ponds throughout the city.”
Cleaning out those pipes is no simple task. The public works crews literally have to wade through the muddy mess and collect wood, trash and any other debris that could block the flow of water.
“Unfortunately they do have to get in the water,” Ray said. “Sometimes it gets a little more wet than planned, but it’s really an essential job that they do to make sure the water can leave safety.”
How you can help
Ray says it may be a few days before they find out the full extent of the storm’s impact. But for now, his crews will continue doing the dirty work as Minnesota makes the official transition from summer to fall.
“The big thing is, just a reminder that it always happens. So of course, if you see a plugged catch basin in front of your home, even if it hasn’t rained yet, clean it out,” Ray said.
Meanwhile, Ray recommended homeowners go to the website, floodsmart.gov for information on flood insurance policies.