By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – There are some steps you can take now to prevent flood damage to your home. Heavy rain can impact not only our roofs but can also invade our basements because of clogged catch basins.

There are things you should do to make sure the rain doesn’t ruin your spring. Greg Mizer is doing his part to help keep flooding to a minimum in the city of St. Paul.

“Like fire hydrants, you know, keep your fire hydrants clean, keep your drains open – helps the city helps everybody,” Mizer said.

St. Paul needs help to clear the 28,000 catch basins in the city. Street crews have had to steam clean about 500 storm drains since last week.

“What you need to be looking for is if there is pooling water on the street because that means that the drain is blocked,” said Lisa Hiebert, information officer for St. Paul Public Works.

The sun is attacking the layers of snow on the ground, but with rain in the forecast flooding is now a big concern.

“The last thing you want is water in your basement,” Hiebert said.

Hiebert says residents can help by finding the drain near them and keeping it clear.

“If residents are able to get out and shovel open and get that snow and ice out of that drain, that’s wonderful and that’s a huge help so that water can get down in that drain and out of their basements,” Hiebert said.

Another threat of damage and flooding comes from above. Many homes have large snow drifts on top.

“As soon as all that rains starts coming, it’s going to soak into the snow and it’s going to make it heavier,” said Reuben Saltzman, who owns Structure Tech.

Saltzman says he is seeing lots of homes with the potential for problems.

“If you have huge drifts on your roof, you might have some cause for concern and say it might be a time to get a roof rake and take some of that snow off before it rains again, making it even heavier,” Saltzman said.

Saltzman says if you see shingles, you have nothing to worry about, but if the drifts are large and cover the entire roof, it may be time to get professionals involved.

Salzman says the snow weighs about 30 to 35 pound a square foot, the threshold for most homes in Minnesota. He says it’s dangerous to get on top of your roof to shovel the snow, so its best to call for help.

If you have a clogged storm sewer, call the city because the last thing you want is a backup that sends water into your basement.

Reg Chapman

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