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February 17, 2006

Contact: Ian Michaels (718) 595-6600

DEP Adds Catch Basin Crews through the Weekend to Address Snow Melt

Another 25 Crews Inspecting Major Roadways for Drainage Problems

Commissioner Emily Lloyd of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection announced today that to help residents cope with today’s rain and the melting of the largest snowfall in the City’s history the DEP has almost tripled its regular catch basin cleaning force from eight trucks to 22 trucks per day.

The DEP has also put another 25 two-man crews on patrol to seek out drainage problems on major roadways related to snow and catch basin backups.  These crews can either fix drainage problems themselves by clearing snow, ice and other debris away from catch basins, or can direct catch basin cleaning trucks to problem locations.

The staff increases began on Wednesday and will continue through the weekend.  Efforts are being coordinated with the Department of Sanitation’s snow melting program to ensure that catch basins in snow melt areas receive additional attention.

“The City was very successful in managing snow removal from Sunday’s huge blizzard,” said Commissioner Lloyd.  “Now we have to manage the melting of the snow just as effectively.

“In the past, we’ve relied on residents to notify us of problem areas.  This time we’re seeking out those areas ourselves with 25 crews on the streets.  But local residents can still pitch in by clearing snow from around catch basins.  It is also recommended that they clear snow from around fire hydrants so that the Fire Department can get to those hydrants if it needs to.”

Residents with catch basin or flooding concerns should call the City’s 24-hour help line at 311.


More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600