Rain and snow don’t mix: clear blocked storm drains

Keep watch on nearby drains to prevent the possibility of flooding.

PORT ORCHARD — With all of the snow Kitsap County residents have experienced this weekend, the onset of an additional element — rain — will likely complicate matters on roadways and private property.

According to Chris May, county stormwater division program manager, the thick layer of snow over roads and property also has covered storm drains, as well. And as a result, storm drains blocked with ice and snow can cause local roads and private property to flood when the rains come and the snowpack begins to melt.

“The county and your local jurisdiction are working hard to clear roads as quickly as possible,” May said, “but you can help reduce the chance of flooding in your neighborhood.”

May offered some tips for residents to unblock their nearby storm drains:

  • Monitor neighborhood storm drains and keep them free of ice, snow and debris.
  • Do not block storm drains with snow from your driveway.
  • If the storm drain is blocked, use a shovel to clear the top of the grate, and break up and remove any built-up ice. If this does not help, report the blockage to Kitsap1: 360-337-5777.
  • NEVER remove a storm drain lid or attempt to clean a drain located in a busy street.
  • Do not wade into the water when you are unsure of the depth.

“During large weather events like we are experiencing, we have crews out around the county to manage snow and minimize local flooding,” May said. “Residents can help by monitoring their neighborhood drains and contacting us if they see a problem.”

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