Kentucky Highway crews prepping roadways, drains for weekend rai - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky Highway crews prepping roadways, drains for weekend rains

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- From freezing to flooding, Kentucky highway crews have turned their attention to making sure all the snow on the ground doesn't cause problems on city streets when it melts.

"The weather is a little bit less predictable than it has been," Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said in a press conference Friday. He went on to say the forecast had taken a turn for the worse. 

With heavy rain in the forecast, crews are cleaning the snow and ice from drains to make sure it doesn't end up flooding local roadways.

"Crews will be out all day on Saturday and Sunday," said Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District Director Greg Heitzman, "We'll be clearing the catch basins in the community."

The employees from Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spent part of the day poking holes in the snow.

"When they are poking the stick down in there, they're trying to locate the drain, they've got some maps that show approximate locations but when you get out there and everything is covered with snow, it is really hard to tell," said Andrea Clifford, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Public Information Officer.

Crews are used a bobcat to uncovering drains on the Watterson Expressway in both directions. They are trying to stay ahead of the upcoming weekend rain.

"So that when we have the heavy rains on Saturday, the water can flow freely off the roadway and we don't have a lot of pooling and ponding of water and some issues that way," Clifford said.

There is also concern about all of the snow still on neighborhood streets.

"There are almost 68 thousand of these catch basins across all 4-hundred square miles of our city," Fischer said on Thursday. Officials said over 100 critical catch basins had been cleared by midday Friday.


City officials are also asking people in neighborhoods to avoid taking matters into their own hands. That means if your drain or catch basin is covered, call MSD and don't shovel it yourself."

"They are available 24-7 and are bringing in extra crews on Saturday to help clear all of these catch basins," said Fischer.

"We will dispatch crews to any location in order to be able to clear those catch basins, barricade viaducts if necessary," MSD executive director Greg Heitzman said. 

Meanwhile, as highway crews continue to poke holes, they're asking you to pay attention to the lights.

"Just to be cognizant of flashing lights, blue lights or yellow and amber lights and allow these crews the room to safely do their job," said Officer Jared Newberry, with Kentucky State Police.

Highway crews will be out uncovering drains again on Friday and Saturday on Interstate-65.

"This is a major concern from a safety perspective," said Heitzman.

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