PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Cities and towns are gearing up for the heavy rain by digging out storm drains so the water will have somewhere to go. They're also asking people to help, and in some cases, it's not optional.
Providence is joining those communities in the effort to clear out storm drains before tomorrow's heavy rain. Thursday, they put a call out to businesses and residents to try to get some help.
They’ve been doing what they can, clearing out storm drains in trouble spots around the city. But, there are about 12,000 catch basins in the city, and they won't be able to clear all those storm drains before the rain starts. Not digging out those catch basins could result in flooding.
They also say that by law, people need to be digging out their sidewalks, fire hydrants, and storm drains. Not doing it could result in a fine ranging from $25 to as high as $500 per day.
Providence Director of Public Works Mike Borg says, “There is a city ordinance, one that mandates that residents that have sidewalks and catch basins adjacent to their property - that they should clean it. Look, we know that there's high snow banks out there, so we're out working that, and we ask that they come out and do the best that they can to help clear those out so we can prevent flooding.”
Crews have been working in parts of the city that flood most often during heavy rain events. They've addressed about 30 of those areas so far. They will also continue to respond to problem areas during the storm.
If you are not physically able to do the work the city is asking you to do... You can contact them for help by calling 3-1-1.