UPDATE @ 2:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- City crews are working quickly to pick up leaves clogging storm drains and causing water backups.
Charleston Public Works Director Gary Taylor tells WSAZ.com 11 crews are out picking up leaves in Kanawha City Monday. He says the rain is making the leaves heavier and more difficult to clean up.
"We're going to be keeping our people busy and they're going to be picking up leaves," Gary Taylor said. "We're not promising everyone we'll be getting their leaves today, but we're going to get them."
Already, several drains we saw were covered by piles of leaves with storm water flooding the ditches and sides of the roads. Up until Monday, all residents in the city were asked to bag their leaves for pickup. Monday marked the beginning of leaf pick-up. Many neighbors have already piled their leaves by the side of their street.
"One of the things we first ask is that they don't pile their leaves on top of the drains, that they don't pile them in the ditch lines," Taylor said. "Even if they're not on top of the drains the rains that we're getting now -- it's going to cause them to wash down there."
Workers suggest helping out by raking or shoveling leaves off the storm drains near them.
"It is tough because of this rain," one worker said. "To do a good job it's tough -- but we'll get it though, we'll get it."
Kanawha City is first on the list for Monday and Tuesday pick-up, then South Hills on Wednesday and Thursday and the East End and West Side on Friday and Saturday.
As the monster storm quickly approaches, workers are running against the clock to suck up as many leaves as possible before more backups occur.
"We've got a tremendous amount of streets -- over 400 miles of streets and there's no way in the world that we can get every drain today," Taylor said. "So any help we can get from the people out here, the residents out here is deeply appreciated."
Forecasters fear the increasing wind gusts could pose problems once leaves begin blowing and drifting. Garbage crews will still pick up leaves if you choose to bag them. City officials say they're doing what they can to prepare for the storm.
"Every person at the street department right now is out working on leaves," Taylor said. "Of course we are putting on a couple snow plows on some trucks too."
Keep clicking WSAZ.com for the latest information.
There is some concern loose leaves will clog storms drains and the heavy rain expected could cause flooding.
Ironically, the city's annual leaf collection was already scheduled to begin Monday morning in Kanawha City.
Right now, several crews are out in Charleston trying to clear the leaves.
Gary Taylor with the city's street department tells WSAZ.com 11 crews are in Kanawha County between Kanawha Avenue and the railroad tracks.
At this time, the city hasn't altered its original schedule because of the storm.
City leaders say leaves need to be raked to the edge of the street so they can be easily vacuumed.
The pickup schedule is Monday and Tuesday for Kanawha City. South Hills pick up is Wednesday and Thursday and the city's west side and east end is scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
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