Officials share how to prepare, prevent flooding ahead of Friday’s storm

Local News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)–With rain on the way, there are things you can do to prevent flooding before it happens.

Crews with Richmond’s Department of Public Utilities cleared away dirt and debris from storm drains on Thursday. They went to places like Maury Street, German School and Worthington Roads with the goal of preventing flooding.

The department said inlets full or trash can reduce its capacity to take stormwater away, resulting in flooding, driving hazards and property damage. They urge residents to help keep storm drains clear of trash, leaves, sediments, lawn clippings and cigarette butts.

8News meteorologist Matt Dinardo is forecasting one to two inches of rain in Central Virginia starting overnight into Friday evening.

“That might cause some localized flooding in a few areas, but not widespread like we’ve seen many times this past summer or fall,” he said. “It certainly will slow you down as you’re heading out and about.”

Before early morning commuters head out, Dinardo said these things should be top of mind.

“This is just a big old storm system coming on in. It’s the one that’s spawned these tornadoes back in the Deep South the other day,” he said. “It’s not going to bring us severe weather, but the heavy downpours go a little slower, make sure your windshield wipers are working good and make sure you an umbrella.”

Jason Elmore, with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, said drivers should stay away from areas that are flood-prone.

“If you do see a roadway covered in water make sure that you don’t try to drive through it. A small amount of rain can swift your car away,” he said.

He said everyone should prepare now for the rainstorm by packing their emergency kits and signing up for emergency alerts. Those emergency kits should include food, water and flashlights in case of a power outage.

In the meantime, Elmore said crews will also be on standby to keep residents safe.

“VDEM has some rescue teams that can be available if needed, so our crews will be ready just like we are with every other storm,” he said.

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