Residents, Cities Battle Clogged Storm Drains - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Residents, Cities Battle Clogged Storm Drains

Posted: Updated:

Tuesday's thaw plus a drop in temperatures and anticipated rain means the QCA has prime conditions for refreezing on sidewalks and streets.

The snow that's melting has been piling up for weeks and rain tonight adds to those problems.

All this melt has to get to the river somehow. City storm sewers are often the most direct route, but those can be clogged up with snow and ice.

Many city streets have gallons of snow melt, pooling along the street or at an intersection with nowhere to go.

The storm drains themselves are the problem.

They're filled with snow after repeat snow falls and plows pushing the snow to the curb.

Unclogging them falls to the cities, but city crews aren't the only ones battling these mini-dams.

"This happened last winter and that's why I'm out here this winter trying to stay on top of it and this weather should help me," says Rock Island resident Kim Huff.

He was scraping away at ice along the end of his driveway. He's proud of his home and doesn't want the inevitable melting snow sneaking into his basement.

"This water is starting to dam up and I'm trying to prevent that from happening," says Huff.

In a region divided by a river, the battle to keep snow melt flowing toward it occurs throughout the area.

29th avenue and 15th street provided the scene of a similar battle in Moline.

A city worker plowed snow away from the storm drains on the corner. He used every tool at his disposal, included his boot, to get the water flowing again.

"I think we'll see some flooded intersections on Thursday if the rain comes as forecast," says Rock Island Public Works Director Randy Tweet.

He says his crews spent Tuesday starting to attack clogged drains.

"We have around 3,800 to 3,900, so obviously we're not going to get to all of those, but we'll get to as many as we can and we'll respond to complaints," says Tweet.

Huff will keep de-engineering his snow dam.

"So it won't come back and keep water in the yard,"

Although he says one problem, only reveals another.

"In certain areas of the yard we have low areas, I got to work on that," says Huff.

Public works crews in all of the cities will focus on clearing storm drains.

Davenport is trying something new this year.

All the snow plow crews will be sent to their areas with maps of the storm drains in an effort to get them cleared quickly and completely.