As the city of Charlotte is bracing for Florence, the State and City Departments of Transportation are clearing up storm drains and preparing roads.
Extended rainfall and strong winds could mean disaster for state highways and local roads, N.C. Department of Transportation’s Jen Thompson said.
“The potential could be there for roads to flood," Thompson said. "The potential is there for trees to fall across the roads, as well."
The Charlotte Department of Transportation regularly checks storm drains and clears overhanging tree branches. They made additional checks Thursday, which led a team of four to clear out a storm drain near Robert Smith Park. The drain was covered with dirt and leaves. The group had been driving around the city to find drains to clear since Thursday morning.
Superintendent of the Street Maintenance Division Stephen Bolt said he hopes their work will prevent roads from flooding, or at least make them empty faster.
"Now we can get the water flowing where it’s supposed to," Bolt said.
And then there’s Duke Energy, which is anticipating as many as 3 million customers could lose power. They’re preparing to send 20,000 workers to the region for clean up. Spokesperson Shannon Brushe said some of those workers were already at muster stations across the state and will start repairs as soon as possible.
“This is the largest mobilization that this company has had,” Brushe said.
With winds that could reach 35 miles-per-hour, and rainfall of up to 10 inches, it’s likely roads will need clearing and power lines will fall in Charlotte this weekend.