City Crews Tackle Storm Drains in Superior, Cleaning Businesses Prep for Flooding

City of Superior and SERVPRO of Twin Ports Share Tips and Tricks

SUPERIOR, Wis.- There are 3067 storm drains, 91 miles of sewer, and 181 miles of ditches, swales and culverts in the City of Superior.

Now crews are rushing to have those near homes clear, before any flooding can begin.

“If that drain gets plugged up, whether it’s plugged up with debris like leaves, grass, sticks, garbage, or ice like we’re dealing with right now, that means the water will back up into the streets.”

Water Resources Program Coordinator Andrea Crouse accompanies a crew tackling a storm drain near Faxon Creek.

Streets aren’t the only places in danger of flooding.

“Can cause icy areas and dangers for traffic, pedestrians, in worst case scenarios it can even back that water up into people’s homes.”

So the crew uses jets of hot steam and ice picks to clear these drains, some as deep as 16 feet, so water can flow freely.

“These drains go directly to a stream, right here we’re by Faxon Creek so this drain behind us is taking all of the snow melt and rainwater into Faxon Creek,” Crouse said.

But with over 3 thousand drains throughout the city, crews can’t be everywhere.

And flooding can happen to more than just your basement.

“Egress windows on the side of the house that tend to fill up with water, so you need to monitor any place that water could potentially come into your house from the outside,” said Kevin Buck.

Buck owns SERVPRO of the Twin Ports, a water damage restoration service.

He’s seen water enter from a variety of places.

“If you have ice dams especially if it’s raining at the same time, be aware that water works its way back up underneath your shingles and it can drip down into your attic and effect your insulation and can also get into your walls,” Buck said.

If you notice water in your house, Buck advises you to clear it fast, before mold can set in.

“We have a window of about 4 days, 3–5 days from the time that water damage comes to the time that mold starts to become a problem,” he said.

Unfortunately, runoff through drains into streams can carry  salt, hurting the aquatic life.

But later on this month, the City of Superior will be holding training for contractors to properly work on storm drains, to prevent corrosion and runoff on construction sites.

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