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Hartford Public Works unclog storm drains as Ida remnants dump record rain

Over a dozen crews were canvassing Hartford's flood-prone neighborhoods to remove debris from storm drains.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Since Wednesday, Hartford Public Works crews have been canvassing neighborhoods to clear up clogged catch basins all in an effort to minimize flooding around businesses and homes. 

"If you can’t see the bottom of the puddle, don’t drive through it," said Michael Looney, director of Hartford Public Works. 

That was the message sent to anyone who has to be out on the roads Thursday with hopes to cut down on the number of car rescues. 

RELATED: LIVE BLOG: Tracking Ida as it is expected to dump record rainfall in Connecticut

So far in total, Looney said close to 30 rescues had to be made. 

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin put an emphasis on a famous saying: turn around, don't drown. 

"We don’t want our teams to have to be out there doing rescues," Bronin said. "We obviously will if necessary but if you can just stay home, stay off the road, please do."

Crews were specifically focused on basins outside of restaurants or food businesses where litter is likely to be found. 

"The ground can only absorb so much and when it can’t absorb any more, it ends up in the street trying to get through our stormwater system. It’s been tiring but I think we’re still in a good position," Looney added. "One of the things that is frustrating is the inability to control Mother Nature and when a lot of rain comes down very quickly, there’s only so much we can do."

The mayor added flooding can be reduced on the residents' end by doing their part. 

RELATED: Flooding concerns from Ida's remnants tonight into Thursday

"If you have storm drains outside your home, keep an eye on them and try to keep them clear," Bronin said. "Our teams will be out there cleaning them but if you see debris starting to gather, you can make a difference and reduce the risk of flooding by keeping those storm drains clear."

Residents are advised to move their car to higher ground or in the blue light lots. For a list of those lots, click here.



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