Officials discuss ways to prepare for floods and falling trees ahead of another winter storm

Official shares tips to weather the winter storm
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 9:48 PM EST
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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Southeastern North Carolina is preparing for another winter storm, less than a week after a different storm brought icy roads and flooding to parts of the region.

The storm is expected to cause dangerous road conditions once again and drivers are urged to avoid unnecessary travel.

When preparing to protect the area around your home or business from heavy precipitation and flooding, New Hanover County Engineer Jim Iannucci says it is important to keep drainage systems clear and free of debris.

“Having the amount of rain we’ve had in the last several weeks, the ground is saturated,” said Iannucci. “Some of those systems are full, and sometimes it can take a week for those to drain down and, so, making sure those outlet systems are open, the conveyances can drain to downstream.”

If you manage the stormwater system at your home or business, make sure the water has a clear path to drain out before the storm, especially since things could get icy.

“If there’s debris or things built up in the systems, you know, if you get ice on top of that, that’s going to hold water back and that’s the things — we want to make sure that those systems are clear and that they can function” Iannucci said. “That’s something that folks could do is make sure there’s not debris that’s gonna catch that ice and kind of ice over.”

Even though we are far removed from hurricane season, the incoming precipitation can still cause flooding troubles in your yard or on the road. That’s why officials urge you to be prepared.

“Just making sure that things are functioning, just like we asked them to do before a tropical event or something along those lines,” Iannucci said. “Just to, kind of, make it work the best that it can. Things are going to, kind of, stage up and then they’re going to drain back down.”

The N.C. Forest Service also reminds you to stay safe around trees during and after the storm. In a press release, they offered tips for people to prepare ahead of time.

Before the storm, officials say prevention is key. The Forest Service recommends pruning trees with strong branch attachments because these will hold up better in an ice storm. You are also advised not to top your tree because topped trees will quickly regrow weakly-attached branches.

During the storm, officials recommend staying indoors. You should not attempt to knock ice or snow from branches or spray water on trees to try and melt the ice or snow.

After the storm, it is recommended that you wait until ice or snow has melted before cleaning up, and only attempt to clean up minor tree debris.

To view a full list of tree safety tips from the N.C. Forest Service, click here.

To stay up-to-date with the latest forecast, click here.

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