Heavy Rain Preps: Clearing Leaves and Debris

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Heavy rains are predicted for Thursday, and the City of Huntington is making preparations for the potential of major flooding.

Leaves and debris clogging gutters along major roads could only increase the potential for flooding.

"People need to make sure of, before this rain hits, to check all the drain holes to make sure they're not covered up. If you live next to a drainage ditch, walk up to that ditch and make sure no sticks are in there," says James Mayo, owner of Mayo Trees. He's seen leaves, trash, and even tree roots clogging up gutters.

This fall, the City of Huntington has collected over 2,500 bags of leaves. Public Works Director of Storm Water Sherry Wilkins says, "We try to stay proactive in getting ahead of these things and keeping our catch basins and gutters clear."

The city can't keep every gutter clear. They are asking homeowners to do their part, too. Mayo says, "A lot of people, they rake the leaves out next to the gutters and what happens, they wash down and when a big, heavy rain hits, they stop up the gutters."

It's not just leaves creating problems for potential flooding, though. "We have undersized storms sewers. We have issues with a combined system. Some of the storm sewers connect to the sanitary sewers," Wilkinson says.

Before the rain hits, the city is reminding homeowners of the dangers of flooding even in their own yards.

A citation was recently imposed in Huntington. Homeowners can see a $100 citation for debris, leaves, grass, or trash blocking storm drains.

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