Warmup causes minor flooding in Twin Cities

As temperatures hit 50 degrees, melting snow is starting to make for some localized flooding in the Twin Cities metro area.

Weeks of heavy snow and bitter cold blocked storm sewer catch basins that normally drain melting water from curbs and gutters. In Minneapolis, city crews are cleaning them to improve drainage as the weather warms, said Lisa Cerney, the city's director of surface water and sewers.

"With the warmer weather, we've got a lot of snow melting and we've got roughly 40 to 50 calls an hour coming into our 311, sharing intersections or alley locations where we have localized flooding," she said.

St. Paul officials also are seeing a normal amount of localized flooding for a snowy winter. The city's Public Works department is working to open drains where water is pooling.

"Crews are out doing one of two things: they're either steaming the catch basins to melt the snow away, or they're using plowing equipment to actually push the snow and ice away," said Kari Spreeman, a spokeswoman for St. Paul Public Works. "And so far, we're keeping up with it."

In St. Paul, residents should call the street maintenance hotline at 651-266-9700 to report suspected blocked drains.

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