City of Durham crews clear storm drains ahead of heavy rainfall

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – The city’s public works crews were out Thursday clearing storm drains before the heavy rainfall begins.

The Triangle is poised to receive several inches of rain and could be impacted by Hurricane Joaquin later in the weekend.

John Sandin, a public works supervisor, was with a crew on Mossdale Avenue Thursday utilizing a large truck that functions as a vacuum and holds about 2,400 gallons of water. The crew was traveling to different parts of the city trying to unclog as many storm drains and minimize street flooding.

“Tree limbs and leaves being blown off, they generally cause a large concern when you come to grates and basins,” said Sandin. “That’s always a challenge. We love our trees, but they make it a challenge.”

City officials encouraged residents who can to remove debris from the top of storm drains in their neighborhoods.

A couple miles from where the crew was working, business owners had a different concern.

Along University Drive, the staff at Nana’s Restaurant has dealt with water rushing through their business on more than one occasion.

“We can tell that it’s happening about 20 or 30 minutes before it happens because it’s just prodigious. It really comes up, floods through here, and then it’ll flood right down this walkway. This entire parking lot fills up with water,” said Graham Weddington, who manages the bar at Nana’s.

Managers bought some sand bags to try to prevent as much water as possible from coming into the restaurant’s offices and the private dining area.

“We know that there will be some water going in, but if we can limit it, it limits the damage,” said Weddington. “This is one of those cases where we’re preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.”

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