Posted on: Thursday, January 11, 2018

NORTH READING — The weather forecast calls for North Reading to receive a significant amount of rain Friday and Saturday. This rain, coupled with melting snow, is expected to produce a significant amount of stormwater.

The forecast also calls for a drop in temperatures on Saturday, which could cause any rain-covered surfaces to “flash freeze.” Rain-soaked snowpack may become ice, making it difficult to move after the rain concludes.

Department of Public Works (DPW) crews are currently clearing catch basins in areas that have historically been problematic. Residents and other property owners are asked to assist in removing snow from street catch basins in the vicinity of their property to reduce the risk of potential street flooding.

Please note: Stormwater drainage systems work best when there is free access to the gutter line. Snowbanks in many neighborhoods are currently four- to six-feet deep from the gutter line and need to be cut back to create a channel that enables the melting snow to enter the system. Take advantage of the warmer temperatures today and tomorrow to chip away at the ice pack near drains and catch basins to get down to the pavement and remove the slush before it re-freezes overnight.

Also ensure that fire hydrants in your neighborhood are accessible as this will save valuable minutes in the event of an emergency. 

Property owners are advised of the following steps that can be taken to protect their property:

• Clear catch basins/drains on and around your property.

• Safely check roof drains, gutters and downspouts to ensure they are not obstructed with snow and ice.

• Ensure basement sump pumps and drain lines are in good working order and unobstructed.

• Complete any remaining snow removal activities (alternate entrances/stairs/decks/patios) prior to the snowpack becoming rain-soaked.

• Use a roof rake to safely remove snowpack and potentially prevent ice dams from forming and subsequent damage from leaks.