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Keeping the drains clear

By David Kaplan, dkaplan@wdbj7.com
Published On: Jul 10 2013 05:28:28 PM EDT
Flooding concern made worse by brush blocking drains

Officials say flooding can be lessened by making sure you clean your yard

ROANOKE CO., Va. -

And all this rain is making it tough on crews trying to get rid of all the debris in storm drains.

Crews tell me there are just too many drains and too much debris And it's debris like this that's blocking some storm drains that could cause problems if we get that heavy rain.

"We're overwhelmed with different phone calls and e-mail and online requests," said Terek Moneir who oversees the storm water drainage for Roanoke County.

It's easy to forget that when rain water goes down the storm drain, it carries whatever will go with it.

In Roanoke County, crews are hard at work making sure storm drains are clear.  At times, it feels like they're fighting a losing battle.

"We cannot get to every place all the time so it's been really difficult for us," Moneir said.

The concern with more rain in the forecast is that it could cause flooding more easily because drains are clogged up with debris from last week's rain.

"These are the kind of events that we cannot prepare for no matter what," Moneir added.

Brookside Park in Roanoke County is still closed because of flooding in the area.  This is what happens when rain water can't drain properly.

The reason the park is closed and the reason some areas are prone to flooding is not just because of manmade debris but vegetation can block the drain as well.

So what can you do?  Crews say It's simple, really.

"Use commonsense and try to get rid of the debris or things that are in the way," Moneir added.

Make sure all your trash is in the can, the twigs are off the yard and your drainage systems are clear.

Because remember, all the water is going to the same place, getting it there without dealing with flooding is the goal.

"All of it has an impact. Whatever happens in the county ends probably in the Roanoke River and we all know where that goes," Moneir said.

Obviously, some rain just falls too fast like this afternoon and flooding is inevitable.

But officials remind us, every little bit helps.