AUTIN (KXAN) — Emergency crews across the region are preparing to respond to this flood risk, and that includes the Texas Department of Transportation.
Traffic anchor Erica Brennes sat down with Bradley Wheelis, a spokesperson for the TxDOT Austin office, to learn more about the role they play during flooding events.
Erica: “Brad, there’s a lot of rain predicted for the Austin area. Multiple inches. What are the TxDOT crews doing to prepare for this upcoming storm?”
Brad: “TxDOT crews are on standby to respond to any weather-related incidents. For the most part, our crews help in setting up barriers when roadways are flooded, but we assist in any which way we can during one of these severe weather events.”
Erica: “Are there any added challenges regarding brush that may be leftover washing, downstream blocking drains, culverts, that sort of thing that TxDOT has to deal with or monitor after the winter storm.”
Brad: “That’s always a concern. Anytime you have a weather event like this, especially if you get some wind. With the rain, you see a lot of the debris on the ground that may get into culverts that may clog up those culverts. And so we are ready to respond to that to open up those passageways so that the water can drain properly. But when you have sustained heavy rain for a period of time, it’s often difficult to prevent flooding.”
Erica: “How does this compare to what y’all do to prepare in a winter storm? Is it anything similar? I mean, I know during a winter storm you’re going out and pre-treating. Is there any kind of free prepping that y’all can even do?”
Brad: “There really isn’t anything that we can do to prepare for these types of events. We are on standby and ready to respond but we don’t know exactly what Mother Nature is going to dole out.”
If you notice a clogged culvert or drain right now, you should call 911 to alert emergency officials, especially if you notice water start to build.