Historic Snowfall, Heavy Rain, Ice Plugging Causes Flooding On Area Roadways
The Minnesota Department of Transportation recently issued a warning advising residents throughout central Minnesota to expect water and flooding on area roadways.
The amount of water on the roads has been especially high this year due to a combination of historic snowfall, heavy rain, and ice plugging storm drains or culverts causing water to back up on to roads. In the city of Brainerd, there are 2,500 catch basins that city workers have been working to free from ice.
“We have our street crews out right now trying to uncover catch basins so that the rain has somewhere to go so we don’t have these possible flooding incidents or localized flooding. So, that’s kind of what our street crews are working on right now, trying to scrape the ice off of the streets because it is very rough right now on a lot of our side streets,” said Paul Sandy, Brainerd City Engineer.
The consistent heavy snowfall and the frequency of snow events that the area has seen this winter has caused the streets to get narrower and narrower, making it difficult for crews to remove snow on side streets. If a localized flooding issue arises, the public is advised to call city hall.
“This is kind of the worst of both worlds because of all the snow and the inch, inch and a half of rain. It’s making things melt a lot faster. We just really didn’t have a lot of time to take a step back and start removing some of the snow from the edges of the street to uncover the catch basins and keep them clear,” explained Sandy. “And now with rain and warmer temperatures, we’re starting to see a lot more ponding in the streets.”
The city advises motorists to be cautious and to drive slow through any type of water on roadways.