The Michigan Association of County Drain Commissioners have put crews on call to respond to potential snowmelt flooding, and urges citizens to be cautious when traveling and to stay alert to any hazardous road conditions.
In Berrien County, which bore the brunt of the winter snowfall due to the lake effect, Drain Commissioner Roger Zilke is prepared for any flooding that may occur.
"This is the very reason Drain Commissioners perform maintenance during the year," Zilke said. "When the drains are cleaned out and obstructions are removed, the water can flow through faster and we don't see the rising waters."
The combination of heavy snowfall, followed by rising temperatures and rainfall gives way to the potential for significant flooding due to obstructed catch basins in the road way. Catch basins are the storm drain inlets along the curb of a road which typically capture any rain and, through a system of underground pipes, takes the rain water to an open ditch or river. Heavy snowfall and ice can accumulate over the catch basin and create a barrier for any rain to flow through. This can result in large amounts of standing water covering the road way.
County Drain Commissioners have been alerted to the potential flooding risks and have put crews on call in order to respond in a timely manner. "Drain Commissioners would like to remind homeowners that they are the best defense against flooding. They can help by locating the catch basins on their property and create a path for the water to get there," Zilke said.
If you see any standing water, please contact your County Drain Commissioner. A list of Drain Commissioners by County can be found here by clicking on the link within this article.