Public Works Clears Storm Drains in Anticipation of Heavy Rain

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(Memphis) "Isaac" isn’t just causing trouble along the coast, the City of Memphis is preparing for any severe weather associated with the system.

Memphis Public Works cleans storm drains every day, but in light of expected heavy rains from Isaac, they`re focusing their efforts on areas that typically flood.

News Channel 3 was with crews as they cleaned storm drains around the city clogged with debris.

The clog prevents the drain from doing its job of keeping streets and neighborhoods from flooding.

Public Works Director Dwan Gilliom said the drains are mostly clogged by the people they're meant to help, “The number one cause is litter. People just littering and not even thinking about what they`re doing to the environment and the damage they`re doing to our storm water drainage system."

Memphis's drainage system is designed to take in about an inch and a half of water an hour.

Gilliom says in many severe weather scenarios, Memphis sees around four inches of rain an hour, “If that be the case, there`s not much we can do to prevent that."

Public Works is focusing on many low-lying areas in Midtown, and making sure tributaries to the Mississippi River are clear of debris.

They are also ready to respond, and have a number of crews on standby, to clear any debris that falls because of severe weather.

“Here, it's mostly making sure the equipment is ready to roll if needed and there is an effort and emphasis placed on preventing flooding and where we can,” said Gilliom.

If there's a storm drain near you that's clogged, you can call the city at 311 to have your name added to a list to have a crew come out and clean the drain.