MEMPHIS, Tenn. — City crews spent Monday clearing storm drains in anticipation of heavy rainfall from Ida.

Crews with the MLGW and the city’s public works department are on 24-hour shifts. As they wait to see what Ida brings to the area, crews are in position ready to respond if needed.


City of Memphis crews spent the day clearing storm drains in areas the city has deemed high priority due to their potential for flooding.

‘Some of them are problematic,” Public Works Director Robert Knecht said. “They’re in low lying areas, generally under railroad bridges, underpasses that can flood easily.”

City leaders say it’s important to be proactive because debris and litter can hinder water flow.

It’s why they ask you to clear storm drains near your home, and if you notice anything there are things you can do to help them out.

“If they do see multiple areas where they see inlets have litter or trash notify us and we’ll try to get a crew out there as soon as possible through 311,” Knecht said.

As public works crews respond, MLGW has crews on standby for the storm’s aftermath.

“Until we get hit, we won’t know what will be hit. Our trouble shooters will go out right away to assess any damage that we have,” said MLGW spokesperson Gale Jones Carson.

MLGW says it has 20 teams of four on standby as well as more than 50 contracted tree trimming crews along with out-of-town crews also on standby.

The goal is to keep everyone safe as what’s left of Ida moves through the Mid-South, especially our most vulnerable.

“If anybody needs to find a shelter, that’s obviously a major concern during a storm event because we do have a population of homeless out there, so we do try to work and get that information to them,” Knecht said.

MLGW says they won’t make a decision about sending crews to Louisiana and other hard hit areas until they see what the storm does here.

They do share an important reminder: don’t drive through standing water, downed trees our powerlines.