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Transportation Officials Focus on Clearing Storm Drains [AUDIO]

With all the heavy rain we’ve had over the past six months, the New Jersey Department of Transportation has made cleaning storm drains a top priority.

Flickr User Fried Dough

“It’s something that is an ongoing process that is part of our normal maintenance routine – that we go and we check that the drain tops are clear and clean of debris,” says NJ DOT spokesman Steve Shapiro.

He points out the DOT is responsible for keeping about 68,000 storm drains clear of debris – to minimize the chance of highway flooding.

“We’ve got crews that are going out there every day,” he says. “They do visual checks to make sure that the inlet tops are free from debris, and if there are cases where they see that the chamber below might be clogged up, we actually have these things called vactor trucks. They’re used to vacuum that chamber underneath the grate.”

He says DOT crews are well aware of low-lying areas, and where water might accumulate, so they prioritize their inspections.

“If we know a storm is approaching, we’ll pull folks from the mowing and other functions and make sure they’re out there checking the storm drains.”

Shapiro adds the DOT has a robust, reliable drainage system, but maintenance is important to maintain it, and keep it working properly.

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