All that snow we’ve accumulated in Central Oregon over the past week is now on the melt, causing plenty of slush, puddles and overflowed drains.
“We really want to keep that water in the road and going into the drain where it’s designed to go,” said Brian Sievers, City of Bend utility worker.
That means cleaning up puddles on a pretty big scale.
“The first thing is just trying to locate the drain. A lot of them are hard to find with those ice dams that get built on top of them and the that berms get pushed on top of them,” Sievers said. “Once you find them, they drain.”
On days with heavy snow melt, there are dozens of city employees around Bend doing similar work.
“It’s not just people out there with shovels clearing catch basins during these after storm events, but there’s a lot of planning and a lot of investment that go into our system every year,” said Troy Beck, Utility Field Operations Manager for the city.
The city manages more than 12,000 catch basins, but preparing the system to handle days with heavy runoff is a year-round process.
“Even though there might be a problem right now, that doesn’t mean that we’re not aware of it and that doesn’t mean that we’re not working on it,” Beck said. “These things take time. There’s a lot of asks for these stormwater dollars. There’s a lot of projects.”
As the melt continues, you’ll likely see crews like Sievers’ on your commute in those hot spots for street flooding.
“We’re focusing mostly on the main arterial roads and then we’ll move into the residential as we get the main roads open,” Sievers said.
The city says if an intersection near you has issues with puddling, you can call the utilities department to report it.