Crews work to minimize flooding threat

Reported by Claire Simms - bio|email
Posted by Lauren Thomson - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - With rainfall projections from the remnants of Hurricane Ida now topping six inches for the area, crews from the city of Wilmington are making sure storm drains can handle all of the excess water.

"It's an ongoing process to keep them maintained," said city spokeswoman Malissa Talbert. "But, when we know that we're anticipating heavy rains, we do as much as we can to prepare for that."

Workers have been out since Monday removing leaves and debris from drains across the city, trying to keep the water flowing smoothly off the roadways. To keep the streets even safer, the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office is urging drivers to prepare for the wet weather.

"If you have to be on the road during all these rainstorms, then I would say drive very slowly, drive cautiously and remember the phrase "Turn Around, Don't Drown", said Sheriff Ed McMahon. "If you're not sure or if the water looks deep, just don't go in there."

City officials are hoping extra work by the storm water crews will keep potential flooding at a minimum. They say a little extra help from homeowners would go a long way to helping in the effort.

"We have found that blowing leaves, pine straw and that sort of thing into storm drains is more common than we would like," Talbert said. "We ask all residents who have ditches or storm drains nearby to make sure that they're cleared out as well."

City crews will be on call Wednesday in case of any flooding, and Talbert said they will be prepared to shut down any roads if necessary.

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