Crews Struggle To Clear Storm Drains and Snowy Roads

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LANSING (WILX)--Road crews did not have an easy job trying to keep up with mother nature Thursday. While they tried to uncover storm drains to prepare for flooding, they had to take care of the slush covered roads.

Crews started the day digging out storm drains, but had to make a quick transition as snow began to fall sooner than anticipated.

"We're kinda used to it at this point in time. Mother Nature is really not letting up," said Chad Gamble, with Lansing Public Works.

"You only have so much man power and equipment. You have to make a decision as to where our priority is, and when there is snow on the roads that becomes priority," said Ron Lacasse, with East Lansing Public Works.

Snow then turned into rain, and crews had to change gears yet again. Roads quickly began to flood, and crews had to get back to clearing more drains.

"Clearing the drains take time. It's re-froze and you got a two or three inch layer of ice that's coated the gutter pan," said Lacasse.

Finding the drains isn't easy, even for the professionals. There are hundreds of them in the Lansing/East Lansing area, and try as they might crews will not get to all of them.
It's a hard job, but they're asking homeowners to help out.

"If they have a catch basin in front of their own house, maybe take ten or fifteen minutes. All we need is for them to do their best to try to clear that opening," said Gamble.

"If anything, if you could just remove the snow from the top of them. The ice that's left will thaw that much quicker," said Lacasse.

Crews will continue in Lansing and East Lansing to uncover catch basins as long as the thaw continues.

"It reminds us that we need to be prepared for everything," said Gamble.

They offered two tips for finding nearby storm drains: use Google Earth, or call your public works department.

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