Preparing for flooded streets ahead of heavy rain

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Just one day of heavy rains and winds can completely flood certain roadways across Memphis.

Back in April,  a FOX13 crew was at Macon Road and North Holmes Street, where cameras caught cars stalled, almost knee-deep water carrying trash cans and yard waste into the road.

Just last week, it was Mt. Moriah Road near Clarke Street where cars were driving blindly into water just deep enough to cause drivers to hydroplane and stall.

But this is not a new pattern in the city.

“You look at where we are in the city, you drive down Lamar, Elvis Presley, you understand that the stormwater drainage should be an utmost concern,” said Memphis city Councilman JB Smiley.

This year, city council made it a priority, pushing for about $40 million for a new storm drain project.

City council Chairman Martavius Jones says it’s still in the early stages, but between inflation and rising supply costs, it could lead to the city council asking for more money.

“I think people are willing to make these investments if they see the results of it. The problem is I don’t think they’ve seen many of the results that have happened going forward,” said Jones.

Smiley said there’s about 20 projects happening that could lead to significant improvements down the road.

But until then, council members say there are some ways that citizens can do their part.

“Report – 3-1-1, send an email to your councilmember, to the mayor,” said Smiley.

City Councilwoman Cheyenne Johnson said, “I think most importantly, our citizens need to understand lets not put the leaves in the drain, lets not put the grass clippings in the drain, it is not a garbage can, if we can get that across, that would be great.”

The city says for drain calls, folks can expect a person to be out within 24 hours to clear it up.