By Ron Sanders, WBZ-TV

SOMERVILLE (CBS) – Somerville D.P.W. crews are trying to finish clearing hundreds of storm drains before snow and rain falls on top of hard-packed piles and banks of snow and ice. Public Works Commissioner Stan Koty estimates those crews have cleared well over 1,000 storm drains in the past couple of weeks.

After the heavy equipment removes mini-icebergs blocking storm drains, D-P-W crews chip away at what’s left with shovels to clear grates on main arteries and side streets, such as those just off Highland Ave., where rain water usually runs off.

“After last year’s major storm in July, we’ve learned that you have to stay on top no matter how small it is. So we’re going to, hopefully, get through this tonight, hopefully get through it tomorrow and hopefully everything will go smoothly without any serious backups,” says Koty.

WBZ-TV’s Ron Sanders reports.

Elsewhere, companies such as Baker Elman Plumbing are busy, checking and fixing sump pumps, but they expect to be busier soon. “We could inundated tomorrow with flooded calls,” says David Elman.

Megan Yao’s home on Fuller Street in Newton has been flooded by heavy rains in the past that send water rushing down her driveway so she became anxious when she heard the forecast for tonight and tomorrow. “Definitely became anxious about it. And I had noticed this past weekend that my sump pump kicked on but wasn’t working properly,” says Yao.

So Elman was making urgent repairs at Yao’s home this afternoon. “Well the biggest problem is the amount of snow that’s still on the ground and the fact that the ground’s still frozen so water just doesn’t seep into the ground,” he explains.

Elman says if you have a sump pump, check it before you need it to make sure it’s working and that discharge pipes are not frozen.


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