Local agency preparing for Hurricane Harvey remnants to hit Kentuckiana

MSD spent day cleaning storm drains in Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- As remnants from Hurricane Harvey move into the area, local agencies are working to prepare for the rain.

Employees with Metropolitan Sewer District said it’s a simple job, but it’s a job that can make all of the difference.

"If we can stop flooding from happening we don't start from behind the eight ball and have to catch up,” Supervisor Troy Smith said.

Smith and his team with MSD are working around the clock to prepare for potential flooding, as possible heavy rains move into Kentuckiana.

“Once it looks like it’s getting closer to us, it has the potential to hit us, we'll go ahead and do all of these preemptive strike things, everything taken care of, picked up, cleaned up and hopefully it won’t cause us a problem,” Smith said.

The teams are focusing on what MSD calls “hot spots,” which are areas prone to flooding.

"There are well over 100 hot spots in Jefferson County alone and as we ride those hot spots anything that our crews see they are told to stop and go ahead and pick that up also,” Smith explained.

Working to clear bridges and creeks of any kind of debris, employees are hopeful this will keep water flowing as the rain arrives and allow them to react to any new issues that are called in. "If we can stop flooding from happening we don't start from behind the eight ball and have to catch up,” Smith said.

The First Alert Storm Team is predicting rain totals of 1-3” over Indiana, 2-4” along the river in Metro Louisville and 3-6” south of the Metro. WHAS11 meteorologists say the rain will start Thursday night and continue through Friday. MSD officials said that timing will be helpful.

"That’s good that we have it spread out across that amount of time. If we were to have that fall within an hour, those are the kinds of rains that we have, anyone would have a hard time keeping up with,” Smith said.

Come Friday, the team will be on damage control monitoring any rising water levels and staffing needs as the day progresses.

"If it becomes really bad, we don't give them an option. It’s all hands on deck, everybody needs to be here because we’re not going to let anything happen to the public,” Smith said.

For now, they're doing what they can to prepare for the potential heavy rains and asking you at home to do your part too.

“People can help by pulling leaves off of catch basins grates, out of driveway culvert pipes, any place they see them that’s in the drainage ditch. That’s the best time to get them before any rain starts. We certainly don’t want anyone doing anything dangerous but that’s usually pretty easy to take care of,” Smith explained.

If you do get standing water around your home on Friday, you can call MSD for help by dialing (502) 540-6000.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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