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Emergency Crews Prep For Flooding Dangers

COLUMBUS (Lu Ann Stoia) -- Emergency sewer service workers are hitting the streets to clear ice and snow from storm drains and catch basins.

Crews said they want to make sure that the streets and roads are not flooded with melting snow over the next several days and causing traffic tie-ups and danger for motorists.

Public Utilities Department spokesman George Zonders said they patrol for trouble spots where there is frequently high water, such as railroad underpasses.

People who want to report clogged storm drains in the city may call 3-1-1.

"We know eventually the water will make its way into the storm drain," Zonders said. "What we are trying to do is to hasten the process a bit to reduce problems."

Columbus has tens of thousands of storm drains and 3,500 miles of storm sewer pipes.

William Hoffman has been on the emergency sewer crews for more than a dozen years.

"We don't want people's businesses and houses to flood," Hoffman said. "If it goes over the curb and the ground can't absorb the water, it poses a threat to basements."

Hoffman said they expect to be extra busy late this week as temperatures go up and more snow melts.

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