If you’re not sure if there’s a storm drain on your street, you’re not alone.
That’s why the Ada County Highway District has made a map of all the storm drains in the county available on its website. Just key in your address, and the site will zoom in on the locations of drains (they are the red dots; the black squares are manhole covers).
“I’m told that we’ve had 23,000 people come and click on the (online) map,” ACHD spokesman Craig Quintana said. “We’re gratified that the word is getting out.”
Highway district officials are asking residents to try to clear drains in their neighborhoods. If a drain is buried too deep with snow and ice to shovel out, then you can notify ACHD that you need heavy equipment to get it cleared. Call 387-6100.
Quintana said subdivisions that were built within the past three years may not appear on the map. Residents in those areas should also call ACHD for help in locating storm drains.
Boise officials say clearing drains to prevent small-scale “nuisance” flooding is the city’s top priority.
“Our crews are working with ACHD to clear storm drains in the Downtown and North End areas,” said Mike Journee, a spokesman for the mayor’s office. “Those areas are the ones that ACHD seem to be most worried about.”
The city drainage system can easily handle the influx of water, Journee said. It’s just a matter of getting the water to the drains. Besides what recent storms have left behind, it’s possible that snowplows have pushed snow on top of gutters and drains while clearing streets, he said.
He noted that city officials do not expect to see widespread, watershed level flooding, though property owners could see some localized flooding.
Blocked drains may not be the only issue in neighborhoods. Snow berms or other piles of snow and ice may prevent water from flowing to the drains, so be sure to check that melting water in your area isn’t impeded.
Journee said there’s been a lot of concern from residents about the snow load on house roofs. He said homes built to current building code should be able to handle up to 25 pounds per square inch. The estimated load from recent storms is about 10 pounds per square inch.
He was unsure what load older homes could withstand.
Icicles are a sign that ice dams may have formed on the roof. Ice dams can cause leaking and damage to the roof.
Journee asked city residents to lend a hand to elderly neighbors.
“Help each other out, and use the typical Boise spirit and get things taken care of,” he said.