City crews unclog storm drains to keep roads safe

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – One reason for the street flooding, clogged sewers. City crews have been busy all day trying to clear them.

KSN followed crews most of the day, as city workers worked to keep Wichita streets clear, by unclogging the storm drains.

“Almost 49 gallons per minute,” said storm water worker, Miguel Rivas-Sanchez.

That’s how much water Wichita city crews unclogged at Park Place and 14th St.

Workers found debris in storm drains. That clogs the drains and prevents that water from draining out of the street.

“It over flows, so we have to give it a little bit of time to flood the water. Then we come back and make sure there’s nothing in front of the drainage like you see in this one,” said Miguel.

The city sends out five cleaner trucks to areas they know are likely to flood. That’s when they start the process of unclogging drains.

“It’s usually debris, sticks and stuff like that. Hub caps are terrible about clogging up a line, basketball. Just all kinds of things. You wouldn’t imagine all the things that we find in them,” said Storm Waters general supervisor, Darren Deutscher.

Those things, kept crews on their toes, monitoring the problem spots.

“Like right now, the water stop, we go back and if there’s still water, we make sure it’s going down. If it’s not going down, then we gotta open all the mains and run it with this,” said Miguel.

“People don’t slow down, they run into the water. They get stalled out. The big trucks splash the little cars around them. It’s just a nightmare,” said midtown resident, Bill Beaulieu.

City crews tell me they’ve worked to clear more than 300 spots Monday. They’re hoped to tackle 500 clogged drainages, saying they’ll keep coming back to the problem spots, to keep clearing the drains, as work to keep the roads safe.

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