Crews to Harris Co. residents: Don't dump your debris

Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Crews to Harris Co. residents: Don't dump your debris
As more rain is expected around the greater Houston area, crews cleaning up ditches on Wednesday want residents to help them out to prevent flood conditions.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Heavy rain and strong winds Tuesday night caused debris to fill drainage areas and ditches, and now, crews are hard at work.

Workers with the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office spent Wednesday clearing out clogged ditches. Commissioner Jack Cagle took time to show Eyewitness News how it all worked.

"Before a storm, our crews go out to make sure our ditches are clear so that drainage can flow appropriately," he said. "During the storm, we watch to make sure everything is flowing."

READ ALSO: Residents fear having to clean ditches and culverts themselves ahead of potential flooding

Then there's the process of unclogging the ditches.

"This is sort of the between-the-storm process where we noticed this ditch was low," he said.

First, crews use shovels to dig out debris, like leaves and branches. Once that's done, the crews use a machine to help loosen the debris. A long hose is attached to a machine that uses high-water pressure to help break it up.

READ ALSO: Houston 1 week behind schedule on waste pickups ahead of flood threat

"We bumped it by taking a regular old traditional fire hose with a special attachment on the front, kind of like on a drill when you drill for oil," he explained. "We ran it through the pipeline to be able to drill out the debris."

Once that's done, large chunks of debris start to come out and the water in the ditch begins to flow again. Cagle said if you see a clogged drain, contact his office so his team can address it.

He is also asking for your help.

If you do have debris of any kind, keep it away from your drainage or culverts.

"That ends up clogging up our system," he said.

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