City: Check, clear storm drains

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)  The City of Fort Wayne said the rivers remain low but water is filling some streets in the city because of blocked storm drains.

The city asked people to start clearing away snow pack, ice and debris from the storm drains to prepare for the rain and warmer temperatures.

“We’re grateful they did do that, but a number are still covered. We’ve been going around trying to clear ice from the side of the road where we could,”Frank Suárez, the City Utilities spokesman said.

Some blocked drains downtown were causing big puddles in crosswalks and one drain, while it was clear of snow, had standing water up to the road surface in it.

“We had some residents call us, call 311, saying water was gathering in their street. The rain came down very fast. With some drains being clogged with ice and debris, it’s been a rough winter, the water was slow-moving in some places,” he said.

Crews worked to clear ice and get water moving on about 20 streets. They had also set up three pumps in flood-prone areas, but Suarez said they haven’t had to use them yet.

The city, as well as the Allen County Highway Department, opened up sandbag stations. People have to fill the bags themselves, but they are all free.

Click here to find area sandbagging locations.

County highway crews were also driving around the country roads to break up ice and snow on the sides of the roads.

“We’ve had record snowfall this year and we’ve run out of places to put the snow. Then it thaws and the water can’t go anywhere and it causes problems,” Randy Knach, the county highway supervisor for the north barn, said. “The crews are out seeing what they can do, dig a trench on the side if they can.”

Fort Wayne residents are asked to check inlets into neighborhoods and remove ice and other obstructions blocking the flow of melted snow and rainwater from getting into the storm sewers. 

To report high water, call 311. Do not try to drive through standing water, turn around and find another route. 

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