Clogged drains, heavy rain cause flash flooding - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Clogged drains, heavy rain cause flash flooding

(WMC-TV) – The rain that poured in parts of the Mid-South Tuesday came down so hard and fast that storm drains could not seem to keep up.

At Jefferson Avenue and Danny Thomas Boulevard, flash flooding caused cars to stall.

"About like here, up here. All the way up through there was just like that in different spots all the way down," said Jose Renix.

Witnesses say it was not just the downpour that caused problems, but the backflow, too.

There are about 80,000 drainage inlets throughout Memphis.

A handful of those along Danny Thomas Boulevard were stressed during Tuesday's shower.

"Any one of those systems can only hold so much water at any one time. So it's very likely you get a heavy rain in a short period of time, it'll cause localized flooding," said Robert Knecht, Memphis Public Works.

The Action News 5 weather team said 1.37 inches of water fell on the Midtown area in less than one hour.

WMC-TV viewers and Chopper 5 captured video of flooded streets and drains.

City Public Works crews say leaves and litter add to the issue.

"Those things kinda form on top of those grates and cause damming action and that'll contribute to flooding and make it even harder to resolve the problem," said Knecht.

Memphis Public Works has crews specifically assigned to maintaining drains and keeping them unclogged.

If you know of any drains that are in need of attention, you can call 901-357-0100.

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