Rainy Fresno Roads Challenge To Clean Up, Dangerous To Drive

October 13, 2009 9:34:46 PM PDT
The rain has made it challenging for both road maintenance crews and dangerous for drivers.The rain started in Fresno around sunrise, but in a just a few hours several spots around town had already flooded. Fresno street worker Mike Gallegos knows when it rains, the road almost always floods between Belmont and Parkview. "Crosses over from the other side. Comes under the road," said Gallegos.

The drain is maintained year round but this machine has not been fired up in months. "We just put our suction hose into it right here and then hoses running down to a storm line on the other end," said Gallegos.

A flood of this size on Belmont typically takes about 45 minutes to clear out. The water is pumped through a hose and ends up in the sewer.

Several Fresno drivers had a difficult time navigating the wet conditions. Perhaps the most shaken up driver was Don Brantley. He was driving a Chevy Tahoe when he swerved to miss several cars in front of him on HWY 41. Minutes earlier he had been dropping his child off at school. "My backs a little stiff ... I'm glad no one else got hurt," said Brantley.

Brian Russell manages the street maintenance crews in Fresno. He said these sandbags are not available to the public right now. The city is preparing them just in case. "It's critical that we're prepared because we want to provide a service to the people of Fresno but at the same time we have to be fiscally responsible," said Russell.

Russell said to contact the city if water starts to pond on your street.

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