Is your office parking lot a lake? Blame Irma.
More than two weeks after the monster storm rolled across South Florida, Miami-Dade County public works officials say they still have not been able to reach most of the drains that help keep streets and parking lots from flooding because of the massive amounts of downed limbs and toppled trees the storm left in its wake.
“Due to the amount of vegetative debris throughout the county, a large majority of these drains have been covered and are not accessible until the debris is removed,” spokeswoman Karla Damian said in an email.
The public works department maintains about 80,000 drains around the county, with cities sharing some of the work, she said. After Irma’s hurricane-force winds crossed the county like a weed wacker, many were blocked by mountains of debris the county is working to remove.
Heavy rain and a king tide this week made matters worse, flooding streets from Doral to Miami.
Since Sept. 11, a day after Irma hit Cudjoe Key, the county has received about 345 complaints about blocked drains, Damian said.
County crews began cleaning the drains Tuesday, removing debris from openings and flushing sediment that might clog lines. But because so much debris remained Friday, workers have been unable to reach many of the drains and won’t be able to until the debris is removed. The department has so far cleared 575 miles of surface streets and 399 miles of neighborhood roads and is trying to speed-up efforts by contracting with additional workers, she said.
That means cleaning Doral drains could take another three weeks, she said.
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