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Keep drainage clear ahead of storms!

Last Friday, the National Weather Service (NWS) in Raleigh took rainfall reports of more than 4 inches of rain drenching Clayton in less than an hour and a half! That left many parts of town flooded and drainage systems overwhelmed.
Just look at the blockage caused at one downtown home where pine straw, leaves and fill dirt completely blocked and covered a storm drain! Clogged grates are often the #1 reason streets flood during a storm. 
Now the NWS is monitoring more heavy precipitation headed our way. Forecasters predict Hurricane Irma could bring heavy rains and strong winds to Clayton late Monday into Tuesday.
The Town of Clayton is once again preparing in advance of the storm with public works employees checking storm drains and catch basins, especially those in flood-prone areas, to make sure they aren’t blocked by existing debris.
But it’s hard to get to all 5,000+ public drains throughout Town and we need your help to prepare our community! Blockages can damage and flood not only your property, but your neighbor’s property and public roadways. Let’s all do our part! 
BE VIGILANT! Residents and businesses are encouraged to check storm drains near you - clear or rake away any leaves and debris. 
Do NOT dump or place yard waste, grass clippings, branches, leaves, trash bags, rocks or other into the street, swales or drainage ditches. If you’re putting anything out for pick-up by All Star Waste, set it JUST BEHIND THE CURB. Anything in the street, gutter or in front of the curb will block the flow of water. DO NOT PUT IT IN THE STREET. 
Make note of your elevation and appreciate how your property can impact others. Heavy rains send debris washing downhill. That heads into other neighbor’s yards, streets and nearby streams, damming up those areas and causing water to overflow into people's yards. Rain carrying away your debris might not affect your home, but anyone downhill from you will feel the damaging effects.
If you see grass clippings, branches, leaves, pine straw, construction materials, yard ornaments, toys or any other loose material near or blocking access to storm water grates, drains or other infrastructure on or near your property, please take a moment to clear these obstructions.  
Inspect and clean sediment, debris and rocks from driveways on your property, private roadway culverts, and swales. Culverts (pipes that carry stormwater under a roadway) can get clogged and cause flooding. Property owners are responsible for maintenance of these private drainage systems.
If you see dumping, observe obstructions in the right-of-way or have questions about drainage swales, catch basins, storm drains, etc., call our Town of Clayton Public Works Department/Operations Center at 919-553-1530 or complete a service request on our website at ClaytonNC.org/ReportaProblem 
Clear debris and leaves from roof gutters and downspouts to protect your property.
Leave natural vegetation on steep slopes and along streams and lakes. Plants slow stormwater runoff, filter pollutants, and stabilize the earth so it won’t wash away.
If you know you live in a low-lying area or floodplain, install a sump pump. If you already own a sump pump, test it to make sure it will be in good working order if a storm hits.

?During a storm, it's normal for streams to rise. Some parking lots and parks are designed to fill with water.
Know how to shut off your electricity, gas and water at main switches and valves. You may need to shut off these utilities if your home floods.
Have an emergency kit prepared ahead of time in case you need to evacuate your home. Sign up for JOCOAlerts to receive important emergency warnings. 
Call 911 if your home or office is in danger of flooding.
Do not attempt to walk or drive through flooded areas. It's easy to lose your balance. Even a small amount of water can stall your car. If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.
Stay away from fallen power lines and electrical wires. Assume any downed power line is an energized power line.
Stay tuned to radio and TV news reports for the latest weather updates, or visit www.weather.gov/rah/.
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