Why we’re not excited it might be 50 degrees on Monday

While subzero temperatures were no cakewalk, temperatures rapidly swinging the other way make us very nervous. When temperatures flip flop from -25 to 50, they act like a hammer to infrastructure. Everything from water mains to roads to sidewalks are impacted.

For streets, the cooling and then heating of the pavement causes it to expand, contract and then crack. As the snow melts, ice can get into those cracks and freeze overnight, expanding and making the cracks even bigger. Then as cars and trucks drive over those areas, the road surface breaks up and creates potholes. If you see a pothole or notice pavement doing some things it shouldn’t, let us know.

The most immediate concern we have is flooding in places you usually don’t see – like your residential street. Right now catch basins are snow covered but the drains themselves are open and ready to receive water. Most catch basins are not going to clear themselves – we need to help.

Crews today are out attempting to clear catch basins in some areas. We anticipate that more of that work will take place on Monday. If you’re so inclined and cabin fever has given you a reason to get outside, we’d love it if you’d clear the catch basins in front of your homes. You only need a shovel and some elbow grease.

clearing out a catch basin
Our DPW Director, Randy Breautigam, clearing out a catch basin near Heine and Reif Street. Exposing the drain will allow snow melt to enter the storm sewer and stay off the streets.

If you see flooding that looks like it might be more than just snow melt, please call the City – it could be a water main break. If it’s after 5 pm or on the weekend, please call 911 and let them know your concern. If your snow melts so much that you can see the leaves left on your lawn, please don’t rake them into the street (you make think this is sarcasm but I really mean it – don’t do it.)

Have questions on infrastructure or how the DPW works? Let me know.


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